/ Jeremy Clarkson's Apology

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Trangia - on 02 May 2014
He appeared to be struggling to keep a straight face as he sincerely apologised for using a certain word in a (formerly) well known children's rhyme.....

My South African family are on a visit to the UK and are staggered at our race relation's laws coming from a country where everyone (blacks, coloureds or whites) address each other by this word which is seen as being non-offensive and in the same context as words like "dude" or "mate".
In reply to Trangia:

I actually have some sympathy with him. We used that rhyme when I was a kid, perfectly innocently and with no thought of what the words meant, and I would recite it now without thinking (well obviously not after this has happened and raised my awareness of it).

If he knew what he was doing and was trying to push it as far as he could without getting into trouble, then he's an arsehole.
andy - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia: Ask your South African family what would happen if a white telly presenter used the work "Kaffir" in South Africa.
andy - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> If he knew what he was doing and was trying to push it as far as he could without getting into trouble, then he's an arsehole.

Absolutely - fat, middle-aged bloke trying to be "non-PC" and "edgy" = nobhead who deserves to be sacked. Fat, absent-minded, middle-aged bloke who said it by mistake - accept the apology and move on.

Antigua - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Apparently there are serious negotiations regarding the name of the dog in the 2014 remake of the Dambusters.

Sad
Just a bhoy - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

I'd never heard the n word used in this rhyme until a few years ago, we used the rhyme in games back in the early seventies and it was always "tiger". Wasn't PC or anything, it just was.
Skyfall - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Just a bhoy:

It was the n word when I was a child in the 60's. and I genuinely never thought what it actually meant. Weird in hindsight.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I would recite it now without thinking (well obviously not after this has happened and raised my awareness of it).

Oh come on, would you really recite it in front of a black person?
rj_townsend on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I would recite it now without thinking (well obviously not after this has happened and raised my awareness of it).

> Oh come on, would you really recite it in front of a black person?

In the world of equality, why would you discriminate?
Unknown Climber - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:


I was just reciting a rhyme about Jeremy Clarkson and accidentally used the word c**t.
Apologies for any offence caused.
In reply to seankenny:

Now, no. But two days ago, yes, because I had never actually considered the words and their meaning - a bit like the Lord's prayer. You just say it. I would probably have had an awkward, dawning realization half-way through.

Clarkson has got form with this sort of thing though. The "slope on the bridge" thing for example.
Tom V - on 02 May 2014
In reply to andy:

I'm reading a SA cop story by Roger Smith and he makes that precise point: all sorts of unpleasant epithets might be shrugged off by black South Africans - except the word "kaffir".
Antigua - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Just a bhoy:
> I'd never heard the n word used in this rhyme until a few years ago
Speaking to a cousin a few years ago about this it seems to depend on where you grew up. For him in London the multi-cultural environment meant that using the 'N' word was a complete no no but for me in a small provincial town it was the norm. Looking back my attitude to it was ambivalent rather than racist.

I note that everyone is referring to the 'N' word which everyone knows refers to the word 'ni**r'. Why the self censorship?

I've edited out the uncensored use of the 'N' word because of the post by The New Nick B BUT the question still stands why do we self censor a word that everyone knows. Why aren't we self censoring/banning books like Tin Tin in the Congo?
Post edited at 09:06
Trangia - on 02 May 2014
In reply to andy:
"Kaffir" is quite unacceptable in SA because of it's historical connotations. However the "n" word is accepted by all races because it is an American word and has never been used in a derogatory sense in SA.

Thank you - I've learnt something myself!

Done some more research. Kaffir is a Muslim word and refers to a "sub section" of society who having been taught the word of Allah rejected it. Probably dates back to the Arab slave trade throughout Africa.
Post edited at 09:05
MGC on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

I've not seen the footage but I would comment that whilst an unfortunate choice of word it is JUST A WORD.

So why arn't people upset when Jay Z or Kanye West and others use it.



The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Antigua:

Alan has asked that people take care with such things and has, I think deleted threads in the past, even when used in a context like this. I guess it is a commercial and reputational issue.
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MGC:

> So why arn't people upset when Jay Z or Kanye West and others use it.

Do we really have to go through this every time?
Jim Hamilton - on 02 May 2014
In reply to andy:
> Absolutely - fat, middle-aged bloke trying to be "non-PC" and "edgy" = nobhead who deserves to be sacked.

I thought "non-PC" was meant to be part of the Clarkson/Top Gear appeal ?
Post edited at 09:04
Enty - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Looks like we do......

E
In reply to The New NickB:

However, Spurs were threatened with legal action for their fans singing about themselves being Yids.

It's a confusing world for average people who don't spend their lives keeping upto date with "the rules", which are always defined by other people and by the lowest point of offence, are somewhat arbitrary and are applied as if they are gospel by people with little capacity to reason beyond the boundaries of their arbitrarily defined rules.

For example, Alan Hansen was slaughtered for using the adjective "coloured" instead of "black" a while back. How is that fair?
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> It's a confusing world for average people who don't spend their lives keeping upto date with "the rules", which are always defined by other people and by the lowest point of offence, are somewhat arbitrary and are applied as if they are gospel by people with little capacity to reason beyond the boundaries of their arbitrarily defined rules.

Really! How confused do you need to be to miss the difference between a middle aged white bloke using the term and an African American Rapper, using a very slightly different word.



The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

> Looks like we do......

> E

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Intragroup versus intergroup usage
Main article: Nigga
Black listeners often react differently to the term when it is used by white speakers and by black speakers. In the former case, it is regularly understood as an insult; in the latter, it may carry notes of in-group disparagement, or even be understood as neutral or affectionate, a possible instance of reappropriation.

Among the black community, the slur nigger is almost always rendered as nigga, representing the pronunciation of the word in African American Vernacular English. This usage has been popularized by the rap and hip-hop music cultures and is used as part of an in-group lexicon and speech. It is not necessarily derogatory and, when used among black people, the word is often used to mean "homie" or "friend".

Acceptance of intra-group usage of the word "nigga" is still debated, although it has established a foothold amongst younger generations. The NAACP denounces the use of both "nigga" and "nigger". Mixed-race usage of "nigga" is still considered taboo, particularly if the speaker is white. However, trends indicate that usage of the term in intragroup settings is increasing even amongst white youth due to the popularity of rap and hip hop culture.[84]

According to Arthur K. Spears (Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 2006)

In many African-American neighborhoods, nigga is simply the most common term used to refer to any male, of any race or ethnicity. Increasingly, the term has been applied to any person, male or female. "Where y'all niggas goin?" is said with no self-consciousness or animosity to a group of women, for the routine purpose of obtaining information. The point: Nigga is evaluatively neutral in terms of its inherent meaning; it may express positive, neutral or negative attitudes;[85]

While Kevin Cato observes:

For instance, a show on Black Entertainment Television, a cable network aimed at a black audience, described the word nigger as a "term of endearment." "In the African American community, the word nigga (not nigger) brings out feelings of pride" (Davis 1). Here the word evokes a sense of community and oneness among black people. Many teens I interviewed felt that the word had no power when used amongst friends, but when used among white people the word took on a completely different meaning. In fact, comedian Alex Thomas on BET stated, "I still better not hear no white boy say that to me... I hear a white boy say that to me, it means 'White boy, you gonna get your ass beat.'"[86]
In reply to The New NickB:

I was talking in a wider context. I understand the difference between the two scenarios; but I can understand why some people can't.

MG - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

It seems have been a far stronger term in the US than the UK, historically. Are we importing a level of offence? Obviously it's deeply insulting but previously in the UK I don't think it was more so than other many other slurs. Is this changing so it is somehow now uniquely terrible?
Ridge - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
I think most people are able to judge the 'rules' fairly accurately. Yes, you will get someone going over the top,(IIRC on the Question Time episode with Nick Griffin, Jack Straw was berated for pronouncing Caribbean as Carri-bean and not Carib-ean and gave a grovelling apology), but I think the vast majority of people know what is offensive.
Post edited at 09:29
marsbar - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

I also grew up as a child with that rhyme and had no idea (at the time) whatsoever that it meant anything at all, anymore than Eeney or Meeney etc.

Now I know better and realise it isn't appropriate. Nor is referring to a child covered in mud as a dirty hayrab which I now realise started as a reference to Arab. The good old days?

But it does seem like journalists looking for something to be offended by to me. It wasn't broadcast.
In reply to Ridge:

It doesn't stop there being an aggressive clamour when someone like Hansen doesn't use the currently most-favoured word. I really don't like that.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> Now, no. But two days ago, yes, because I had never actually considered the words and their meaning - a bit like the Lord's prayer. You just say it. I would probably have had an awkward, dawning realization half-way through.

You really never knew how insulting this word could be? Seriously? You are from the 1950s and I claim my five bob.


Carolyn - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
> You really never knew how insulting this word could be? Seriously? You are from the 1950s and I claim my five bob.

I think it does depend a little on where you grew up, and how multicultural it was at the time. Growing up in a northern market town in the 70s, my primary school was entirely white. I'm pretty sure the "n" word still figured in nursery rhymes because there'd been no one to suggest it might offend anyone.

But on the other hand, it wasn't intended to offend, it was just a word that we were vaguely aware referred to a black person, without any thought that black people were in some way inferior. I was really deeply shocked at age 9, at summer camp in the US, when a member of summer camp staff automatically assumed that some minor trouble had been started by the two black girls (it hadn't). That strikes me as far more worrying than innocent use of language (though I wouldn't assume Clarkson's use was innocent.....)
Post edited at 09:44
RomTheBear - on 02 May 2014
I remember hearing the grandmother of one of my mate saying that the new carpet in their house had a really nice "nigger-brown" colour.
Apparently for people of her generation it was a completely common thing to say. Barely 180 years ago this country was still trading slaves, it's not that long back.
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Rigid Raider - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Clarkson sits alongside Farrage in my book as the hero of the average British repressed bigot.
Chris the Tall - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Can't stand Clarkson, hate racism, but jeez this is ridiculous. He made a mistake and took the appropriate remedy to ensure that no offence was caused. Someone on the production staff decided to stitch him up.

As to the word, should the band NWA have been called "Black People with attitude" - that's surely more offensive !
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Can't stand Clarkson, hate racism, but jeez this is ridiculous. He made a mistake and took the appropriate remedy to ensure that no offence was caused. Someone on the production staff decided to stitch him up.

Except he hasn't taken the appropriate remedy at all.

> As to the word, should the band NWA have been called "Black People with attitude" - that's surely more offensive !

FFS Chris, I expect better from you.
In reply to seankenny:

TBH, if, at aged 8-10 for example, someone had asked me about the word nigger and what it meant I'm not sure how I would have answered, what the prevailing view of it was at the time in the predominately white, working-class area I grew up in. I just can't remember.

However, it's somewhat irrelevant, because the point I was making was the words were not actually considered, just repeated - just like the Lords Prayer I referred to above. I could recite it by rote then, I can recite it by rote now, and I've never given a single thought to what any of it means.

I have to say that it does irritate me that you implied that I was lying about it. What possible motive would I have? It would be good if you could realise that other people have different lives, upbringings, priorities, opinions and interests than you, which doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong.
Sir Chasm - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> Except he hasn't taken the appropriate remedy at all.

It wasn't broadcast and he's said sorry. What do you want to happen now?

FrankBooth - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Spike Lee has been a long time critic of Quentin Tarantino's excessive use of the N word in film like Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction.
http://thegrio.com/2012/06/14/spike-lee-quentin-tarantino-jackie-brown-n-word-battle-revisted-15-yea...
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> It wasn't broadcast and he's said sorry. What do you want to happen now?

How about the bit where he lied about not saying it.

I don't really care what happens.
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> It wasn't broadcast and he's said sorry. What do you want to happen now?

Burn him, burn him!!!!
Chris the Tall - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> Except he hasn't taken the appropriate remedy at all.

The appropriate remedy was to ensure the clip, in which he mumbled the word more audibly than he intended, wasn't broadcast. That should have been the end of it.

Using the word "nigger" isn't inherently racist IMHO, its the intent. If Clarkson had been referring to someone, even mumbling, that would have been offensive, but he wasn't. He was using a nursery rhyme that many of us grew up with. And his intent was not to be audible using the word, but still count the two syllables. Is anyone who says "Eany Meany Minny Moe" and says the rest under their breath a racist? This is back to "Baa Baa Black Sheep" myth which was used to undermine anti-racism in 80s.

You could draw parallels with the sexism of Gray and Keys, but with them there abuse was targeted at particular individual, sometimes in person

Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> The appropriate remedy was to ensure the clip, in which he mumbled the word more audibly than he intended, wasn't broadcast. That should have been the end of it.

>
Rubbish , he's a witch. I bet he floats...
Post edited at 10:29
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> Is anyone who says "Eany Meany Minny Moe" and says the rest under their breath a racist? This is back to "Baa Baa Black Sheep" myth which was used to undermine anti-racism in 80s.

I think the comparison with Baa Baa Black Sheep is exceedingly weak.
pebbles - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

and weighs the same as a duck
Chris the Tall - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> I think the comparison with Baa Baa Black Sheep is exceedingly weak.

A right wing paper invented a story that a "loony-left" council had banned the use of the nursery rhyme. This was a blatant lie. But a teacher believed the story and stopped kids from singing it. Now you genuine story. Why did the paper lie in the first place - to undermine genuine attempts to curb racism, and so that people like Clarkson could go "It's political correctness gone mad".

This (non)story give them more ammunition
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> A right wing paper invented a story that a "loony-left" council had banned the use of the nursery rhyme. This was a blatant lie. But a teacher believed the story and stopped kids from singing it. Now you genuine story. Why did the paper lie in the first place - to undermine genuine attempts to curb racism, and so that people like Clarkson could go "It's political correctness gone mad".

I know the back story, the comparison is still very poor. There is a world of difference between "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and a rhyme that has the words "catch the nigger by the toe".
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> You really never knew how insulting this word could be? Seriously? You are from the 1950s and I claim my five bob.

I suspect the understanding of the N word as offensive was an American import, and possibly a Caribbean import. Growing up in the 1960s I don't think it was regarded as such in the UK , as apparently it wasn't in South Africa. Certainly we used the nursery rhyme in its original form just as we read "Little Black Sambo" without any sense it might be offensive.

I remember on my first trip to the US in 1975-6 being involved in a game of charades with a group of Americans . The answer to one charade was "The N…of the Narcissus" and the wife of the guy using it gave him a huge bollocking. I was surprised.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Carolyn:

> I think it does depend a little on where you grew up, and how multicultural it was at the time. Growing up in a northern market town in the 70s, my primary school was entirely white. I'm pretty sure the "n" word still figured in nursery rhymes because there'd been no one to suggest it might offend anyone.

I'm going to call this one out. I come from a milk-white small town in rural East Yorkshire, the kind of place where the local skinheads (this was back in the 80s) prefered Combat 18 grafitti to plain old NF grafitti. I remember being told that the n-word was offensive, and certainly by the time I was a teenager I knew that this was the case.


>it was just a word that we were vaguely aware referred to a black person, without any thought that black people were in some way inferior.

I just checked Wikipedia, which whilst not the fount of all knowledge, suggests that the n-word was considered offensive by the early 1900s, possibly even earlier in the writings of Mark Twain. That might be in the US - the same entry suggests the sea-change occured in the 1970s in the UK.

So Submit to Gravity might just get a free ignorance pass if he's in his 60s, but to be eligible for the pass he'd have to prove he was ignorant of such stories as the trial and conviction of Dobson and Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence, where they used the n-word repeatedly...

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/dec/13/stephen-lawrence-murder-trial-race






Antigua - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> Except he hasn't taken the appropriate remedy at all.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27249038

Thats about as grovelling an apology as I've seen..... coming from Clarkson just shows how worried he is of public reaction to it. Normally you'd get a flippant F You 'appology'.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Certainly we used the nursery rhyme in its original form just as we read "Little Black Sambo" without any sense it might be offensive.

> I remember on my first trip to the US in 1975-6 being involved in a game of charades with a group of Americans . The answer to one charade was "The N…of the Narcissus" and the wife of the guy using it gave him a huge bollocking. I was surprised.

Yes, it does seem the change in how people used the world took place in the 70s and 80s - but to claim ignorance about it in 2013 just seems strange to me. No, scrub strange, it's just ignorant - sorry to be so blunt but this is a social norm, right?

The deeper question of how rhymes like "Little Black Sambo" (with its conotations of black men as "boys" which I suspect goes back to the days of slavery) can be unconcious manfiestations of a racist society* is probably a bit beyond this thread, given that some respondents are struggling to understand why black people can use a word that white people can't.

Chris Rock can help you on this one, btw:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tc9xWX3wLE


* note I'm not saying society is currently racist, at least not generally
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

>The NAACP denounces the use of both "nigga" and "nigger"

But not, presumably, 'coloured'. Someone should tell Alan Hansen.

This is all bollocks, isn't it? It's just a word.

jcm
Mike Stretford - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:


> This is all bollocks, isn't it? It's just a word.


Is it a word you'd use in a professional context?
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I have to say that it does irritate me that you implied that I was lying about it. What possible motive would I have? It would be good if you could realise that other people have different lives, upbringings, priorities, opinions and interests than you, which doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong.

I don't imply you are lying - I believe you are being 100% truthful. As I said, I'm struggling to understand how you could live in the modern world and not get at least the basics of this stuff. Did you not have the faintest inkling that black people might not like being called a n****r by a white person?

Note that I'm self-censorting here as I don't want to get the thread pulled for hate-speech. I know all the words to Gold Digger! Well, most of them ;)
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> This is all bollocks, isn't it? It's just a word.

Shout out "yo, bitch" to your wife when you get home, and tell me tomorrow how sleeping on the sofa feels.

Odd argument from one so usually sensitive to the meaning and use of words...

tlm - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> This is all bollocks, isn't it? It's just a word.

Weird, isn't it, that it's just a word that he chose, deliberately to mumble, rather than speak as clearly as the rest of the rhyme, a word that was chosen not to be shown, and a word that he lied about having used, and then apologised for using.

Words.

Tiny, yet pretty powerful.
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Burn him, burn him!!!!

Not a bad idea, actually. Not for this incident, just for the fact that he makes money by justifying the mild bigotry of those who refuse to let go of the attitudes they were brought up with and feel they have a right to keep in spite of the insidious damage they do throughout society.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yon6FGRvxo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLGvWEnbg3c
Mike Stretford - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I have to say that it does irritate me that you implied that I was lying about it.

I think you are talking shite, as on this thread you appeared to at least appreciate what the issue was about

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=494242&v=1#x6758347
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

Ah yes, but words have meanings in their context and time. It's pathetic, for example, to get exercised about the name a dog was given in 1943, or a novella in 1897, or a Victorian nonsense song. It strikes me as much the same as airbrushing characters out of Soviet photographs.

jcm
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Agreed on the first two points. The dog and the novel were called what they were called, that's that.

The Victorian nonsense rhyme, that'll be the one that has an alternative phrasing to the one used, which Clarkson chose not to use. Not quite the same, under your context and time criteria, as the furore shows.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:
> Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

> Intragroup versus intergroup usage

> Main article: Nigga

Got to keep those groups separate. Thank god for wikipedia.

Sup ma cracka?

Edit:

"The word “Negro” is used in the English-speaking world to refer to a person of black ancestry or appearance. The word negro denotes 'black' in the Spanish and Portuguese, derived from the ancient Latin word, niger, 'black', which itself ultimately is probably from a Proto-Indo-European root *nekw-, 'to be dark', akin to *nokw- 'night'.[1][2]
"Negro" superseded "colored" as the most polite terminology, at a time when "black" was more offensive.[3] This usage was accepted as normal, even by people classified as Negroes, until the later Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s. One well-known example is the identification by Martin Luther King, Jr. of his own race as 'Negro' in his famous 1963 speech I Have a Dream."

It's like a fucking circle. Negro will be back before we know it, and I will chastise the lot of you for using the word 'black'.
Post edited at 11:37
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Got to keep those groups separate. Thank god for wikipedia.

Intragroup: "A long reach for a gaston above a bunch of RPs."
Intergroup: "Yes, I had a lovely day out climbing on Sunday."

Suspect you do it all the time :p

johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

It has an alternative phrasing because people, pathetically in my view, decided that the Victorian words might offend people.

Since when did tigers 'holler'?

jcm
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squirrel00 - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Just a bhoy:
It was definitely the n word in the 70s around the midlands because without thinking I would use it with my kids with the wife keep correcting me, but when I started my apprenticeship I used to travel through a certain part of Birmingham on the way to work and there was a car service center called golliwog with a Robinsons golliwog on the sign (owned by 2 jamacans) so no malice meant with it also now a my kids school he's not allowed to call back pudding black it's got to be pigs pudding, as he's irish he asked me what is he allowed to call white pudding, personally I think Clarkson is a bit of a c@#ck but pc is getting a bit ridiculous
Post edited at 11:39
r0x0r.wolfo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
> Intragroup: "A long reach for a gaston above a bunch of RPs."

> Intergroup: "Yes, I had a lovely day out climbing on Sunday."

> Suspect you do it all the time :p

Don't recall taking offense at the word RP from non-climbers. ^^
Post edited at 11:43
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> It has an alternative phrasing because people, pathetically in my view, decided that the Victorian words might offend people.

Why don't you stand on a street corner and recite the original version to everyone who passes, you can then tell anyone who expresses offence how pathetic they are.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> It has an alternative phrasing because people, pathetically in my view, decided that the Victorian words might offend people.

Erm, perhaps some people actually were and continue to be offended by that word?

> Since when did tigers 'holler'?

Since when have any of us grasped a burly black gentleman by his toe, awaiting a squeal? Hmmmm, on second thoughts, better not to answer that.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Argumentum ad Populam?
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Argumentum ad Populam?

Clearly not, as popular a tactic as it is on these forums. I just JCM should stand by his principles.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> It's like a f*cking circle. Negro will be back before we know it, and I will chastise the lot of you for using the word 'black'.

I'm not sure I understand your argument here. Are you lamenting the fact that you can't use the n-word these days? Or does it all seem somehow a bit trivial? Genuinely curious...

Mike Stretford - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Since when did tigers 'holler'?

In the Jungle Book Shere Khan demonstrates a range of vocal abilities.

If you're going to get pedantic I'd have more issue with the one about the old women living in the shoe.


johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Because I've got better things to do. In any case, even it were deemed ill-mannered to recite the actual rhyme in public, as far as my limited understanding of this story goes, Clarkson is being slated for doing so in private because some ill-wisher has chosen to release film of it.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

Wolfo has a point; in the 1970's I was taught that 'negro' was the correct term to use if one wanted to be correct and polite, and that 'black' was not quite as correct and polite. Now that's changed, for no particular reason. Ditto 'coloured'.

This stuff is all bollocks; equality's about much more important things than these silly taboos. Clinton aide, niggardly, etc.

jcm
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Because I've got better things to do.

Currently at number 7 in the Top 40 Posters.

timjones - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> The Victorian nonsense rhyme, that'll be the one that has an alternative phrasing to the one used, which Clarkson chose not to use. Not quite the same, under your context and time criteria, as the furore shows.

Would that be the alternative phrasing that some of us had never heard until today?

It must be a slow news day when papers are resorting to forensic audio analysis of recordings made a "couple of years ago" to fill their twadry tabloids ;(
tlm - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> It has an alternative phrasing because people, pathetically in my view, decided that the Victorian words might offend people.

It's the same, over all time, with words that refer to any group of people that are in a position where they don't have power. As an example, look at what has happened with words to describe people with a mental illness over time... Using words like 'Black' and 'Nigga' is an attempt to claim the power back and to stop the slide of words

http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/pejorterm.htm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Currently at number 7 in the Top 40 Posters.

Exactly.

jcm
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Because I've got better things to do.

Yep, UKC doesn't write itself.

In any case, even it were deemed ill-mannered to recite the actual rhyme in public, as far as my limited understanding of this story goes, Clarkson is being slated for doing so in private because some ill-wisher has chosen to release film of it.

I am not sure I agree with your definition of private, especially as he was doing a piece to camera. But, does it really matter, something either is or isn't offensive. It's not some silly pseudo philosophical question about trees falling over in forests.
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Clarkson is in serious trouble now, he has the full backing of Michael Gove.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Wolfo has a point; in the 1970's I was taught that 'negro' was the correct term to use if one wanted to be correct and polite, and that 'black' was not quite as correct and polite. Now that's changed, for no particular reason. Ditto 'coloured'.

I suspect there is a reason, but clearly both our understandings of the history of racial politics is lacking the finer details. Back in the 1970s you may have been taught that by a white person, perhaps black people came along and said, nope, not like that, thank you very much. Please call us this instead. So stuff changed. No big deal, for us, is it? Unless the big deal is that the change in language reflects a change in power structures and a loss of a particular view of the world, which is why everyone who complains about not being able to use coloured or gay tends to be of a certain age...



> This stuff is all bollocks; equality's about much more important things than these silly taboos. Clinton aide, niggardly, etc.

Taboos maketh human society. Again, given your profession and your general "wordiness", this is a surprising attitude to take.
tlm - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Now that's changed, for no particular reason. Ditto 'coloured'.

Hmmmm...

I think you do see a reason, but disagree with it.
ceri - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> It has an alternative phrasing because people, pathetically in my view, decided that the Victorian words might offend people.

> Since when did tigers 'holler'?

Well we caught a rabbit and waited for it to squeal (in 1980s yorkshire). Rabbits being commoner than either of the other options, and health adn safety ruling out the tiger...
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Wolfo has a point; in the 1970's I was taught that 'negro' was the correct term to use if one wanted to be correct and polite, and that 'black' was not quite as correct and polite. Now that's changed, for no particular reason. Ditto 'coloured'.

> This stuff is all bollocks; equality's about much more important things than these silly taboos. Clinton aide, niggardly, etc.

If you're sure that all this bollock is not important in equality, then can you explain why minorities get so het up about it? It might not be the most rational thing in the world, but some words take on a significance that relates them to hatred and abuse, and once a word has that significance it becomes taboo.

I can tell you now that the word "faggot" (used to mean homosexual, not some disgusting offal product that I don't really know what it is) really genuinely makes me wince and anyone who uses it as "banter" without any self-awareness of how offensive it is is, in my view, a total and utter cock. You can say it's unimportant and I should worry about something else, but there's something about psychology and language that results in these words taking on a big significance about the attitudes of the person using them.

"Nigger" took on that significance a long time ago (from the US, as suggested?) and most people have accepted that and would steer well clear of using it in any context where it might imply an underlying attitude. It's pretty obvious when a word takes on an offensive significance, I don't buy this crap people say about "oh it's so hard to keep up with the rules these days". When someone says that "baa baa black sheep" is offensive, it's obvious that they're talking bollocks; when someone says that "nigger/paki/faggot" is offensive, it's equally obvious that those words have taken on that significance. Unless you're willfully out of touch.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> If you're going to get pedantic I'd have more issue with the one about the old women living in the shoe.

I'm good with that one, but the old lady who swallowed a series of increasingly large animals, starting with a fly, her? Just wrong, nope nope nope.
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

>But, does it really matter, something either is or isn't offensive

Of course it matters FFS. Something can’t be ‘offensive’ unless there’s someone to offend.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> Clarkson is in serious trouble now, he has the full backing of Michael Gove.

Sounds like we can benefit from an economy of scale.
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> >But, does it really matter, something either is or isn't offensive

> Of course it matters FFS. Something can’t be ‘offensive’ unless there’s someone to offend.

Bollocks, something either is or it isn't. Anyway, he wasn't in private.
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>and would steer well clear of using it in any context *where it might imply an underlying attitude*.

Well, quite. Isn't that what I'm saying?

>When someone says that "baa baa black sheep" is offensive, it's obvious that they're talking bollocks;

Well, there are well-meaning organisations who find that offensive, are there not?

>when someone says that "nigger/paki/faggot" is offensive, it's equally obvious that those words have taken on that significance

Unless, as I've said before, you're an international bridge player, where everyone would ask 'did the Pakis beat the Aussies?' and think nothing of it, including the (very popular) Pakistani bridge team.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> Clarkson is in serious trouble now, he has the full backing of Michael Gove.

On the other hand, he doesn’t have the backing of Piers Morgan.

jcm
r0x0r.wolfo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
No that's fine. My argument is basically as follows:

The use of Nigger, Negro, Black, coloured is not inherently racist, whether or not these words are considered racist have changed over time, not in any linear fashion but in a often quite contradictory manner. The idea that we can eventually find the 'ideal terminology' for calling a black man a black man is nonsensical.

I don't think racism is temporal. I think it's defined roughly as:

"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

Whatever our word of the decade is, this does not change. Jeremy Clarkson might well be racist, but it's not because he said the word Negro. I don't believe that racism is best tackled by lexical semantics, but by addressing the derogatory context and it's cause.
Post edited at 12:26
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Really? Beliefs can reasonably be called offensive even if not communicated, but words? I don't see it. You think someone sitting in their bedroom muttering 'f*ck, f*ck, f*ck' to themselves is offensive? We shall have to agree to differ.

It's not a live piece. He was in private in the sense that he was effectively rehearsing. Obviously there were other people there.

jcm
seankenny - on 02 May 2014

> Unless, as I've said before, you're an international bridge player, where everyone would ask 'did the Pakis beat the Aussies?' and think nothing of it, including the (very popular) Pakistani bridge team.

I'm guessing the Pakistani bridge team are rather posh and, being from Pakistan and not here, probably have no inkling of the hate dolled out along with that word in the Britain of the 1970s and 80s. Again, what counts as offensive is down to class, power and history.

Incidentally, try suggesting that daughters of the Pakistani brige players marry a habshi, and see what their reaction is.
Post edited at 12:27
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> Hmmmm...

> I think you do see a reason, but disagree with it.

I don't, actually. I don't interest myself in the question as much as you might imagine. The only reason I've ever heard given was Stan Collymore saying 'black people aren't orange', which I didn't find very compelling.

Enlighten me. What is the supposed reason?

jcm
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Timmd on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
> I don't imply you are lying - I believe you are being 100% truthful. As I said, I'm struggling to understand how you could live in the modern world and not get at least the basics of this stuff. Did you not have the faintest inkling that black people might not like being called a n****r by a white person?

> Note that I'm self-censorting here as I don't want to get the thread pulled for hate-speech. I know all the words to Gold Digger! Well, most of them ;)

I was vaguely surprised to find half caste isn't acceptable as a term, a few years ago, it's not something I'd said, but a definitely not racist friend had used it quite innocently about a mixed race girl he'd had a short relationship with.

Occasionally things can just pass people by.
Post edited at 12:28
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I'm guessing the Pakistani bridge team are rather posh and, being from Pakistan and not here, probably have no inkling of the hate dolled out along with that word in the Britain of the 1970s and 80s. Again, what counts as offensive is down to class, power and history.

You'd be only half right. I expect they're posh compared to the average Pakistani, though I can't say I know, but their main star grew up here.

Agreed about class/power/history, of course.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
I agree with you on the point about context, I don't think any of these offensive words are offensive on their own. All can be used in in-group or ironic ways that wouldn't be offensive (to me, and by extension, to others like me).

The point I'm disagreeing on is "it's all bollocks, equality is about more important things". I think that people not publicly displaying an attitude of accepted hatred, i.e. not being surrounded by offensive language on TV, at work, etc is important to equality. I know the difference between living in both environments, having gone to school in the 90s, and been at work in the 2010s.
Post edited at 12:30
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

I don’t know about offensive, but just wrong, surely? Half-caste doesn’t mean mixed race, it means something within Indian society which I don’t pretend to understand, doesn’t it?

jcm
The New NickB - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Words, said in private or public tend to be considered an expression of beliefs, they are after all our primary form of communication.
doz generale - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

When i was a kid my mum used to sing this rhyme and instead of the n word she would say "c*nt" Not as bad but still edgy
tlm - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I gave what I see as the reason in my post above...

Language is one of the main ways that people interact with one another. People have evolved to have a range of emotions, because they are a group animal. Interacting with other people gives rise to emotions. Therefore, words can give rise to emotions, which are quite a powerful driver.
Timmd on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I don’t know about offensive, but just wrong, surely? Half-caste doesn’t mean mixed race, it means something within Indian society which I don’t pretend to understand, doesn’t it?

> jcm

Don't ask me, but listening to the BBC Asian Network an email was being read about, and the presenter mentioned it not being the right thing to say when another person used it to mean mixed race. I'd have thought it was to do with Indian society originally though.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:


> The use of Nigger, Negro, Black, coloured is not inherently racist, whether or not these words are considered racist have changed over time, not in any linear fashion but in a often quite contradictory manner.

Well, not necessarily contradictory, as I've suggested above.

> The idea that we can eventually find the 'ideal terminology' for calling a black man a black man is nonsensical.

Hmmmm, I'm a white man. You're a white man. Funnily enough, that's fairly close to "ideal terminology". Why should black men, or god forbid black women, be any different?



> Whatever our word of the decade is, this does not change. Jeremy Clarkson might well be racist, but it's not because he said the word Negro. I don't believe that racism is best tackled by lexical semantics, but by addressing the derogatory context and it's cause.

Well, if I called a black person a negro he or she might find it a bit, erm, weird. Old fashioned maybe? Harking back to a time when the relations between black people and white ones were very different?

I guess it matter because some words have historical and emotional baggages - as Jon wrote about above, and he can write about it with real feeling and understanding which I can't, for obvious reasons. Also, some words are markers for more unpleasant attitudes...


johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> think that people not publicly displaying an attitude of accepted hatred, i.e. not being surrounded by offensive language on TV, at work, etc is important to equality.

Well, I certainly agree with that. I just don't think Victorian counting rhymes convey 'an attitude of accepted hatred'. That's what I mean by 'bollocks'.

jcm
Timmd on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I don’t know about offensive, but just wrong, surely? Half-caste doesn’t mean mixed race, it means something within Indian society which I don’t pretend to understand, doesn’t it?

> jcm

https://www.google.co.uk/#q=half+caste+racist+term

It seems most see it as offensive, it's probably technically wrong as well as offensive...
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> On the other hand, he doesn’t have the backing of Piers Morgan.

Shame, I was thinking some kind of micro-generation system might be feasible.
doz generale - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I don’t know about offensive, but just wrong, surely? Half-caste doesn’t mean mixed race, it means something within Indian society which I don’t pretend to understand, doesn’t it?

> jcm

You Can't say mixed race anymore it's offensive. The new PC term is "biracial"
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Well, I certainly agree with that. I just don't think Victorian counting rhymes convey 'an attitude of accepted hatred'. That's what I mean by 'bollocks'.

I see what you mean, and given the mumbling and the obvious malice in the very existence of the story, I agree that this one is bollocks. On the other hand someone who, for example teaches their kids the "Victorian" version of the rhyme is conveying the attitude that they don't give a f^ck about something that most people would acknowledge is important. Which might be ignorance rather than hatred, I suppose.
Timmd on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

This from the Piston Heads forum is quite interesting.

'All about context and intent. Mixed race is fine, bearing in mind the whole prejudice (both from within the differing castes and from outside as well). I have heard the term half caste used with real venom in the past from both the lower dregs of the white part of the sewer but also from supposedly highly 'educated' but incredibly snobby Indians.'
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to doz generale:

> You Can't say mixed race anymore it's offensive. The new PC term is "biracial"

That's bollocks.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Well, not necessarily contradictory, as I've suggested above.

> Hmmmm, I'm a white man. You're a white man. Funnily enough, that's fairly close to "ideal terminology". Why should black men, or god forbid black women, be any different?

As the above, says " "Negro" superseded "colored" as the most polite terminology, at a time when "black" was more offensive."

Right at this very time black seems quite appropriate, but already things are changing. In America you will find this common place: "I think you will find that is, 'African American' actually." I was once pulled up on my usage of the word black in public, do not think that it is a safe word and will not become outdated. The government policy of clubs in this country for minorities allows the name "Black Women's community group" but explicitly states that any such reasoning for acceptance criteria should be based on 'heritage' and not the colour of a persons skin. There has been some noise about many terms involving the word 'black', 'blacklisting' is one particular example.

> Well, if I called a black person a negro he or she might find it a bit, erm, weird. Old fashioned maybe? Harking back to a time when the relations between black people and white ones were very different?
I think the key to this is the word "fashion".

> I guess it matter because some words have historical and emotional baggages - as Jon wrote about above, and he can write about it with real feeling and understanding which I can't, for obvious reasons. Also, some words are markers for more unpleasant attitudes...

This is true. As soon as you are beaten up and called "you f*cking black prick" repeatedly, the word 'black' certainly loses much of it's appeal. If you are repeatedly discriminated against or harmed with reference to the term 'snow leopard' you would have very much the same feelings towards those words. However, taking Clarkson to task on his use of snow leopard is one thing, stopping people racially discriminating and being violent against other people is another.
Carolyn - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If you're sure that all this bollock is not important in equality, then can you explain why minorities get so het up about it?

Surely it's at least partly because it's an "easy" action to take, correcting language rather than tackling the underlying prejudice?

If there is an underlying prejudice, then it's quite possibly a useful first step to challenging it. But often it's just careless use of an old fashioned term from someone without an underlying prejudice. Is it helpful to put energy into changing that?
doz generale - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Just heard that "Biracial" is also offensive as it assumes that humanity is more then one race.

The new PC term is "Dual herritage"

Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to doz generale:

The attempt to replace words that have gathered offensive significance (and "mixed race" ain't one of'em) can often seem clumsy and the proliferation of terms is unhelpful.

Is that what you're saying, or do you think that when a word becomes offensive because of how it's used (e.g. paki etc) everyone should carry on using it despite the fact that the people it's being used about hate it?

You seem to be trying to make a point without actually making a point.

johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

>Unless the big deal is that the change in language reflects a change in power structures and a loss of a particular view of the world, which is why everyone who complains about not being able to use coloured or gay tends to be of a certain age...

Now, y'see, if I were the type who got offended, why, I might find that quite offensive.

I wouldn't say I 'complain' about 'not being able' to use the word 'coloured' - it wasn’t really in my idiolect anyway -, but I do find it quite tiresome needing to be careful about certain types of language not in order to make myself clear but because people might take offence where none is intended. For example, the fashion of a few years ago to correct people who used the word ‘Indian’ to describe British citizens of Indian descent (something that AFAICS BCID don’t actually give a flying f*ck about and which seems to have died away, probably for that reason).

I also thoroughly dislike the hijacking of the word ‘gay’ and would never use it myself (except in its original sense). That’s partly because I dislike the impoverishment of the language and partly because I resent the Orwellian use of language for implicit political purposes. I’m also of a certain age. I’m not sure what you mean by saying that ‘involves the loss of a certain view of the world’, but I’m not sure that I like it.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Carolyn:

> Surely it's at least partly because it's an "easy" action to take, correcting language rather than tackling the underlying prejudice?

Interesting point. It's difficult to know what "tacking underlying prejudice" really entails - do we honestly need to teach people that black people aren't actually inferior? I think the way it works is that the establishment (law, media, education, etc) changes the attitudes it embodies and the elements of society that aren't down with it eventually catch up or die out.

> If there is an underlying prejudice, then it's quite possibly a useful first step to challenging it. But often it's just careless use of an old fashioned term from someone without an underlying prejudice. Is it helpful to put energy into changing that?

Maybe it is. It's symbolic of the attitudes of society if words connected to a bygone age where everyone thought that black people were inferior are just stamped out/completely changed in meaning, as is pretty much the case with "nigger". It just isn't used anymore in it's old-fashioned racist sense. If it had been fine for people to use it "accidentally" and "without underlying prejudice" then that change wouldn't have been so marked and the change in attitudes symbolised by the establishment would not have been clear to black people.

johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>On the other hand someone who, for example teaches their kids the "Victorian" version of the rhyme is conveying the attitude that they don't give a f^ck about something that most people would acknowledge is important. Which might be ignorance rather than hatred, I suppose.

Well, I would have done. I'm not sure that I have, but if I'd taught them it at all, it would have been the 'nigger' version. The "attitude" I would have been "conveying" is that words are offensive or not only in context and that I disagree with people who think differently.

jcm
doz generale - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My sister is a teacher and has been told to avoid the phrase mixed race and to replace it with Biracial or Dual/Multi Herritage.

Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I also thoroughly dislike the hijacking of the word ‘gay’ and would never use it myself (except in its original sense). That’s partly because I dislike the impoverishment of the language and partly because I resent the Orwellian use of language for implicit political purposes.

Haha, that's interesting!

What word do you think homosexual people should use instead to identify themselves? It's hardly fair to ask us, a minority of about 1 or 2% of society to invent a completely a new word and hope it'll catch on with the exact connotations intended.

It sounds a bit like you're against the evolution of language, which is strange. I just don't think it's possible to be selectively against the "Orwellian use of language for implicit political purposes" while being OK with all the other continual ways in which language changes.
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Well, I would have done.

Jesus. Do you want them to get beaten up and ostracised or something? A bit of pragmatism might help them out...
John Rushby - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MGC:

> I've not seen the footage but I would comment that whilst an unfortunate choice of word it is JUST A WORD.

> So why arn't people upset when Jay Z or Kanye West and others use it.

I asked a black mate of mine about this and he said it's because they adopt the negative, and in doing so take ownership of a word that is loaded with hate.

It's more than just a word, it's cancerous, it's almost unique in what it stands for.
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:


> It seems most see it as offensive, it's probably technically wrong as well as offensive...

That's interesting; I'd imagined it was derived from the caste system, but evidently not. If it's from the same etymological lineage as 'quadroon' and so forth, I can certainly see why it's offensive.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>What word do you think homosexual people should use instead to identify themselves?

'Homosexual'?!

jcm
MG - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

On the other hand someone who, for example teaches their kids the "Victorian" version of the rhyme is conveying the attitude that they don't give a f^ck about

The Victorians Bowdlerised verse they found offensive and we now think this odd and prudish, yet we are doing exactly the same. Not using nigger in new work is one thing, pretending it was never previously used is just censorship.
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Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to doz generale:

> My sister is a teacher and has been told to avoid the phrase mixed race and to replace it with Biracial or Dual/Multi Herritage.

I wonder who's actually getting offended by the term "mixed race" - my guess is no one, which IMO means that person who's telling your sister not to use the term is full of crap. The trouble with this sort of stuff is that it by making out that non-offensive terms are offensive, it muddies the whole issue and as you imply leaves people with the impression that there are pointless, arbitrary rules about what's OK and what's not.

I might be wrong and some people might be deeply offended by being called "mixed race", or maybe people have used it as in insult (all sounds unlikely) but my view on it is that words that have an association with hatred are offensive and that words that aren't, aren't.
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> 'Homosexual'?!

Oh come on. Do you honestly think the tone is appropriate for "it's a homosexual night with shit dance music" or "there's a few homosexual bars there now, it's becoming new homosexual area". It's explicit and technical and has completely the wrong tone for what's needed, and you know that as well as I do.
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MG:

> The Victorians Bowdlerised verse they found offensive and we now think this odd and prudish, yet we are doing exactly the same. Not using nigger in new work is one thing, pretending it was never previously used is just censorship.

I don't know what you're trying to say. That we should teach kids that using "nigger" is usually offensive but is OK if the context carries an appropriate historical background?
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
>
> I might be wrong and some people might be deeply offended by being called "mixed race", or maybe people have used it as in insult (all sounds unlikely) but my view on it is that words that have an association with hatred are offensive and that words that aren't, aren't.

I disagree. Do you really think, for example, that many people were offended by being termed "coloured people" as opposed to "people of colour"? Of the terms for "people of colour" listed above I think only the N word was used (and then mainly in North America) as a deliberately offensive term. The rest were adopted or discarded on the basis of (possibly) imagined interpretations of their meaning or implications.

I think that was is happening here is that minorities, or more particularly their (often self) appointed spokespeople are attempting to redress the balance of power by dictating the correct use of language.
Post edited at 13:39
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Oh, are we allowed to say 'people of colour'? I didn't know that. I thought it was 'non-white' people.

jcm
Carolyn - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Interesting point. It's difficult to know what "tacking underlying prejudice" really entails - do we honestly need to teach people that black people aren't actually inferior?

I'd say yes, we do.

It's perhaps rare, but I've certainly come across people who appear to truly believe that black people (or in other circumstances, women, or wheelchair users, etc) are inferior. The local council did some work a while back, and some of the quotes from interviews are really shocking. That's what shocked me as a child - why on earth would you assume that the trouble makers in a group (who've you've only known for a day or two) are the two black kids?

Sloppy use of language might be irritating, and there are good reasons to try and avoid it, but it's not the underlying issue.
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Oh, are we allowed to say 'people of colour'? I didn't know that. I thought it was 'non-white' people.

> jcm

Oh Christ, did I miss the memo on that? No job at the BBC then :-(
MG - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't know what you're trying to say. That we should teach kids that using "nigger" is usually offensive but is OK if the context carries an appropriate historical background?

Yes - don't try and re-write things to suit today's mores. They are what they are, even if some of them may express attitudes that today are frowned upon. Did Bowdler really do anyone any favours by removing references to suicide from Shakespeare simply because the Victorians found the idea offensive?
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Yes, fair enough, I don't mind it too much as code in those sort of entertainment contexts. Though TBH, like Brian Sewell, I would rather prefer 'queer', although one can see why that hasn't caught on. It's more in contexts like 'gay marriage' or 'gay rights' or the whole LBGT (or whatever the initials are) industry that it offends me.

jcm
Post edited at 13:49
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I think that was is happening here is that minorities, or more particularly their (often self) appointed spokespeople are attempting to redress the balance of power by dictating the correct use of language.

I think what happens is that attitudes are slow to change, so when a new acceptable term comes along (e.g. "coloured") it's used by racists until people hate hearing it as much as they hated hearing "nigger". The source of the proliferation of terms is the failure of people to stop being racists, not some arrogance of minority groups as you imply.
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I don't see the merit of your quibble. "Gay bar" OK, "gay rights" not OK. What are you on about?
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Well, I don't mind it to define a social ambience. I don't like it to define a class of people.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Is that why 'coloured' became unacceptable? I can't keep up. tlm claimed to have posted the reason earlier, but I missed it.

jcm
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MG:

> Yes - don't try and re-write things to suit today's mores. They are what they are, even if some of them may express attitudes that today are frowned upon. Did Bowdler really do anyone any favours by removing references to suicide from Shakespeare simply because the Victorians found the idea offensive?

This is all rather weird. "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" is not a piece of literature being corrupted, it's children's rhyme whose content is utterly offensive in today's world. Why on earth would you want to teach it to your children?

The parallel to censorship is worrying - there's an unfortunate suggestion that we will change our attitudes towards racism and be more tolerant of it in future!
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Now, y'see, if I were the type who got offended, why, I might find that quite offensive.

You're a robust chap.


> I also thoroughly dislike the hijacking of the word ‘gay’ and would never use it myself (except in its original sense). That’s partly because I dislike the impoverishment of the language and partly because I resent the Orwellian use of language for implicit political purposes.

But surely the anger against using "gay" as slang for homosexual is also about using language for a very political purpose, ie "this word - gay - means what WE want it to mean, not what YOU want to mean," where WE = middle aged and older straight people and YOU = those pesky homosexuals. So the fight over whether gay means skipping in a meadow or skipping to Old Compton Street is really one about who has power in society - the power in this case being to shape language. Your use of "hijacking" is telling - someone has taken something from you by force, and like a lot of hijackings it was by a group (originally) without a great deal of policial power.

As someone a bit younger and I guess the next generation down, I find the whole upset over the use of "gay" utterly mystifying. Thesaurus.com gives 49 synonyms for the word so it's hardly a great loss in lexigraphical terms. The politial explanation is the best I've got for otherwise utterly irrational behaviour.
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

In "gay bar" the word "gay" defines people sharing the trait of homosexuality, a class of people as you put it. It has nothing to do with the social ambience, in which case it would be called a "crass bar" or such.
MG - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> This is all rather weird. "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe" is not a piece of literature being corrupted, it's children's rhyme whose content is utterly offensive in today's world. Why on earth would you want to teach it to your children?


Right. And swapping nigger for tiger doesn't change that. Either use it as written or not at all.

> The parallel to censorship is worrying - there's an unfortunate suggestion that we will change our attitudes towards racism and be more tolerant of it in future!

No there's not. Just a suggestion that superficially hiding things we find unpleasant, doesn't make them go away.
Post edited at 14:07
Carolyn - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> or the whole LBGT (or whatever the initials are)

Keep up. I've come across LGBTQIA appearing more in the UK recently.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Is it dwarf or vertically challenged person? The last time I met one was years ago and things could have changed.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> I think that was is happening here is that minorities, or more particularly their (often self) appointed spokespeople are attempting to redress the balance of power by dictating the correct use of language.

And how do you feel about that?
Carolyn - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MG:

I don't see the problem with changing it for modern useage? Personally, I'd teach it to my kids with "tiger" or "monkey" or "rabbit" or one of the other variations I've heard - but at some point, explain that it used to be "nigger', what that means, why many people find it offensive, etc.

Denying it ever existed with "nigger" in is equally as stupid as pretending that's still an acceptable everyday useage.
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> I think what happens is that attitudes are slow to change, so when a new acceptable term comes along (e.g. "coloured") it's used by racists until people hate hearing it as much as they hated hearing "nigger". The source of the proliferation of terms is the failure of people to stop being racists, not some arrogance of minority groups as you imply.

Both can be true which is why, as carolyn said, the problem is the racism not the word. Repeatedly changing the terminology doesn't solve the underlying problem but does risk undermining and trivialising the issue by seeing racism in places it isn't (Alan Hansen is an example that springs to mind)

I'm not implying arrogance by minority groups. I am suggesting an instinct to redress the balance of power by taking control of the language applied to them. I would suggest that sometimes they misplay their hand.

In a sense the gay community has taken a different stance, by sticking with the term "gay" for themselves, but attacking its use as a negative term in other contexts.
Post edited at 14:12
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MG:

> No there's not. Just a suggestion that superficially hiding things we find unpleasant, doesn't make them go away.

The point has been made above - there's considerable merit in changing society from one full of offensive language in schools, workplaces, etc to one in which the words - and thus the attitudes they symbolise - are taboo.

Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> And how do you feel about that?

Quite sympathetic to the principle but suspicious that it often used as a method of empowerment by specific interest groups of people within the minority not necessarily on behalf of the minority, and concerned that the repeated change of terminology leads to misplaced accusations of racism which weaken the case against real racism.

My basic position is that, within reason, I try and be polite to people so I use the terms that they are comfortable with. I think that's most peoples' position isn't it?
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Repeatedly changing the terminology doesn't solve the underlying problem but does risk undermining and trivialising the issue by seeing racism in places it isn't (Alan Hansen is an example that springs to mind)

True. But it's difficult for people to stick with a term to describe themselves once people have started using it as an insult due to their genuine attitudes. It will be interesting to see what happens with the word "gay". I think since the establishment is now pro gay rights, the offense of the word being used as an insult is really quite 'light' - it's said most frequently with a bit of self-awareness and irony. This is how come the word will stick, because its use as an insult is connected with the schoolyard rather than the establishment.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to MG:

> Right. And swapping nigger for tiger doesn't change that. Either use it as written or not at all.

It's a nursery rhyme, surely one of the most mutable pieces of wordplay in the language? Different versions of recognisably the same rhyme have been used by children for hundreds of years. So, we change a word that we don't like nowadays, or whose meaning has changed, what's the big deal? It's not Hamlet's soliloquay.

Changing it doesn't mean forgetting how it once was.

johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> In "gay bar" the word "gay" defines people sharing the trait of homosexuality, a class of people as you put it. It has nothing to do with the social ambience, in which case it would be called a "crass bar" or such.

Well, no, it doesn't. A gay bar isn't one where only homosexuals are admitted. It's one whose ambience is supportive of/attractive to homosexuals.

jcm
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Quite sympathetic to the principle but suspicious that it often used as a method of empowerment by specific interest groups of people within the minority not necessarily on behalf of the minority, and concerned that the repeated change of terminology leads to misplaced accusations of racism which weaken the case against real racism.

Agreed - tho you also forgot (possibly) well-meaning but essentially clueless white people. Some of them may unfortunately share similar reading habits to myself ;)

> My basic position is that, within reason, I try and be polite to people so I use the terms that they are comfortable with. I think that's most peoples' position isn't it?

I would hope so.

Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Carolyn:

> That's what shocked me as a child - why on earth would you assume that the trouble makers in a group (who've you've only known for a day or two) are the two black kids?

Things get really complicated here. The racism of the past forced a large percent black people to the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, and once you've got poverty handed down the generations, you've got culture and crime figures and correlations in which kids are badly behaved in class. The modern prejudice may come about for reasons more difficult to address than a completely unfounded belief in racial superiority.

> Sloppy use of language might be irritating, and there are good reasons to try and avoid it, but it's not the underlying issue.

No, the underlying issue is extremely difficult - more so than you appear to acknowledge.

Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Well, no, it doesn't. A gay bar isn't one where only homosexuals are admitted. It's one whose ambience is supportive of/attractive to homosexuals.

You may not be aware of the difference between a "gay bar" and a "gay-friendly bar"?

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Jonny2vests - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:
> My South African family are on a visit to the UK and are staggered at our race relation's laws coming from a country where everyone (blacks, coloureds or whites) address each other by this word which is seen as being non-offensive and in the same context as words like "dude" or "mate".

It is unambiguously taboo outside of rap music and street culture. For many 'coloureds' is just as offensive.
Post edited at 14:37
Carolyn - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Things get really complicated here. The racism of the past forced a large percent black people to the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, and once you've got poverty handed down the generations, you've got culture and crime figures and correlations in which kids are badly behaved in class. The modern prejudice may come about for reasons more difficult to address than a completely unfounded belief in racial superiority.

I take your point, and can see how that might well be the case in places (such as many UK cities) that have had a significant size of black population for a number of generations. But I'm not sure it explains the situation, such as in Cumbria, where there's only been a significant (in % terms) BME population in the last 10 years or so - but there appears to be a very deep seated racism in parts of the population. It may simply be based on the message that's been put across in parts of the press, I suppose.
Enty - on 02 May 2014
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

I think the poll at the end should have been simply:

"Do you hate Jeremy Clarkson?"
Enty - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I think you've hit the nail on the head there Jon.

E
r0x0r.wolfo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:
82% say he shouldn't be sacked.

So probably not a poll of whether people hate him on not! I'm pretty sure there is a 60/40 divide the other way there.
Post edited at 15:40
Flatus Vetus - on 02 May 2014
The idiots baying for Clarkson's blood are probably the same Gaudianista do gooders that would have us remove Ten Little Nigger Boys and Little Black Sambo from school reading lists. It's a madness...
wbo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia: or people who are bored of an unpleasant reactionary who seems to have a lot of similar 'accidents'

tony on 02 May 2014
In reply to Flatus Vetus:

> The idiots baying for Clarkson's blood are probably the same Gaudianista do gooders

“But it is really important that all of us appreciate that the use of this language is unacceptable and it's right that anyone who uses language like this, even in error, should apologise for doing it.”
Michael Gove
Bellie - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

As kids in the 70s we used this rhyme a lot. Mainly when deciding amongst us who was 'on' when playing hide and seek etc.

We never used the N word... not because we were told not to, but because we never knew it was meant to be in the rhyme. No idea how we learnt these rhymes in the first place. If I remember, we used ' catch a baby by its toe. Along with - when its done, wipe its bum, on a piece of chewing gum!

Other rhymes used: Racing car number nine, losing gallons all the time.... remember that?


Ah the simple days!

In reply to Mike Stretford:

Before being so insulting, please read what I wrote. I completely understand the issue, what I said was that as a kid reciting that rhyme, I never considered the meaning of it. That was 35 years ago. I also said that I may have recited the same rhyme now without thinking about it.

By no means is that the same as me not understanding why the word is offensive. I know it is and I understand why.
In reply to Bellie:

It's "Ibble obble chocolate bubble..." now around here.
wynaptomos - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Flatus Vetus:

> The idiots baying for Clarkson's blood are probably the same Gaudianista do gooders that would have us remove Ten Little Nigger Boys and Little Black Sambo from school reading lists. It's a madness...

Well, I read the guardian and you would probably class me as one of your archetypal do-gooders.....

However, while I'm certainly not baying for his blood, I don't see any problem with asking for influential broadcasters like Clarkson to set a reasonable example. IMO using this word does not do that and knowing him I'm really not sure that he wouldn't do this on purpose.
JoshOvki on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bellie:
When I was playing as a kid we used "catch a fish by its toe".

No idea why, and until now I never questioned fish having toes...
Post edited at 17:19
In reply to Trangia:

The more I think about it, the more I think the "slope on the bridge" comment was out of order. I remember watching the episode and him saying it, and thinking it sounded out of place. I didn't know that "slope" was a racist (or any sort of) term for an Asian, so I didn't get the reference, but knowing what I know now I think he's got a bit of explaining to do. It seems to me that he likes to slip these references in under the radar and get a bit of a kick from it.

As for the rhyme, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt, but when you start to look at the rap sheet, you do have to wonder whether he deserves it.
In reply to JoshOvki:

> When I was playing as a kid we used "catch a fish by its toe".

> No idea why, and until now I never fish having toes...

Exactly, you gave it no thought.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

> Done some more research. Kaffir is a Muslim word and refers to a "sub section" of society who having been taught the word of Allah rejected it. Probably dates back to the Arab slave trade throughout Africa.

"Kaffir" means unbeliever for muslims, people destined for hell who any good believer should help into the true road to salvation, even if force was required. I visited in a place called Nuristan in Afghanistan which, until it's conversion to islam was called "Kaffirstan". Nuristan means the Land of Light. The inhabitants were given a choice though, their heads were placed on a block of wood and a sword was held above them, they could choose illumination, and take their new muslim name, or equally they could refuse in which case the sword came down... Charming custom.

I don't know how the term moved to South Africa though.
seankenny - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> "Kaffir" means unbeliever for muslims...

> I don't know how the term moved to South Africa though.

Erm, the British Empire included both South Asia and South Africa, and linked all sorts of disparate parts of the world - Gandhi spents years in SA, and of course then there was VS Naipaul's family in Trinidad, or the huge numbers of British Asians with family ties to Kenya and Uganda. Globalisation isn't such a recent phenomena...

Btw, good story about Nuristan, tho of course not particularly typical for Islamic conversion across South Asia, as you well know ;) - but that would be another thread. Was Nuristan nice, btw? I imagine it's like Chitral.
Tom V - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

As I said the last time we went down this road, if "colored" is really offensive to most black Americans, surely the NAACP would have changed its name by now.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

You're right "nigger" has always been offensive, anyone who is unaware of this, even as a child, either has memory loss, is fibbing or lived in a context where they never heard the word except in the nursery rhyme.

PS. When I say always I mean my always, ie. the last 60 years.

PPS. Why would anyone want to catch a person by his toe anyway, what is the origin of the rhyme?
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Was Nuristan nice, btw? I imagine it's like Chitral.

Very nice, to visit, very poor but probably one of the best sorts of poverty. 4 years later I visited Chitral too, the people are fairly similar, same clothes and such like. At the time of conversion in 1896 some of the inhabitants escaped across the border to Western Chitral. Their descendants still live there today and have become a bit of a tourist attraction. They had, or have, I'm not sure, their own religion and until the conversion the area was famous for it's wine.

I would have loved to return but even now I think it is far too dangerous, it has been described as one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan in several articles I've read and yet at the time the people seemed altogether pleasant and reasonable, we had no arms and would have been completely at their mercy if they had decided we shouldn't be there. It just goes to show something, I suppose.
redsonja - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

I remember using this word in the nursery rhyme when I was a kid but never knew what it meant and never gave it a thought. as to why you would catch someone by his toe, again I have no idea and again never gave it a thought. like many kids nursery rhymes- fi fi fo fum, I small the blood of an English man etc etc. its just something we recited and didn't know what it meant
In reply to redsonja:

> I remember using this word in the nursery rhyme when I was a kid but never knew what it meant and never gave it a thought. as to why you would catch someone by his toe, again I have no idea and again never gave it a thought. like many kids nursery rhymes- fi fi fo fum, I small the blood of an English man etc etc. its just something we recited and didn't know what it meant

I would save your breath, it doesn't seem to be a concept people understand.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Seriously though, can you tell me that all homosexuals are gay? It's always seemed to me to one of the silliest euphemisms in modern English.

Why can't people just call a spade a spade these days?
redsonja - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

when I told my sister that her daughter is far too fat (which he is!), she snapped at me that she is "just big".
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Seriously though, can you tell me that all homosexuals are gay? It's always seemed to me to one of the silliest euphemisms in modern English.

> Why can't people just call a spade a spade these days?

And where does that term come from?
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Tom V:

I presume they're keeping it because of its historical connections, and it's not offensive in that context. Or something.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You may not be aware of the difference between a "gay bar" and a "gay-friendly bar"?

You're right. I'm not. What is it?

jcm
mockerkin on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

We sang this at six years old.
"eanie, meanie, minie, mo, catch the baby by the toe,
When it's dead, boil it's head
And turn it into gingerbread."
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Seriously though, can you tell me that all homosexuals are gay? It's always seemed to me to one of the silliest euphemisms in modern English.

Indeed, many of the them are f^cking miserable.

I think the idea was to pick a term that had broadly positive rather than broadly negative (e.g. "queer") connotations, nothing more.

> Why can't people just call a spade a spade these days?

I'm not sure what you're saying you'd prefer - a term which reflects the median emotional state of the minority group in question, or something that refers specifically to sexual acts?
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Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Flatus Vetus:
> the same Gaudianista do gooders ... etc.

What have deceased Spanish architects got to do with all this?



Puzzled Ealing,

(Now retired on the Costa Brava.)
Post edited at 19:04
mockerkin on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Seriously though, can you tell me that all homosexuals are gay? It's always seemed to me to one of the silliest euphemisms in modern English.

Agreed, the same-sex community have hijacked the word 'gay' and turned it into something else. How do teachers now teach English Literature written before say 1970 and explain that "No, when a character in those days said that they were "gay" it did not mean that they were homosexual just "happy".
That has fxxxxd much of Shakespeare and others' writings.
Post edited at 18:53
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> You're right. I'm not. What is it?

If I was a straight man and I went into a gay bar I should expect everyone in there to assume I was gay and behave accordingly. Gay bars are places where gay men meet to pull. Lots of men go to gay bars alone.

A gay-friendly bar on the other hand is a bar which is known as having a mixed gay and straight clientele where gay people can assume that no one's going to be a prick towards them for that reason, and where there'll be other gay people around. More unusual to head out to a gay-friendly bar by yourself. Not specifically a place to pick up men for a casual encounter, more likely to have a pleasant, trendy, bohemian type atmosphere rather than a nauseating, seedy one.
Goucho on 02 May 2014
In reply to wynaptomos:

> Well, I read the guardian and you would probably class me as one of your archetypal do-gooders.....

> However, while I'm certainly not baying for his blood, I don't see any problem with asking for influential broadcasters like Clarkson to set a reasonable example. IMO using this word does not do that and knowing him I'm really not sure that he wouldn't do this on purpose.

I might be mistaken here, but I was under the impression, that none of this was actually broadcast, but the footage was 'discovered' by the Mirror (that well known bastion of sensible, intellectual and factual reporting??) and passed to a forensic sound person, who after several hours, managed to decipher what 'sounded like' the N word.

I'm not defending Clarkson - he can be a somewhat immature cock at times - but as it wasn't actually broadcast, then how could anyone have been offended by it?

Of course, thanks to the Mirror, everyone now has.

So we hang him for 'possibly' saying it, even though no one outside of Top Gears production company (and the Mirror) has actually heard it?
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to mockerkin:
> Agreed, the same-sex community have hijacked the word 'gay' and turned it into something else. How do teachers now teach English Literature written before say 1970 and explain that "No, when a character in those days said that they were "gay" it did not mean that they were homosexual just "happy".

Don't they just explain that when a character in those days said that they were "gay" it did not mean that they were homosexual just "happy"?

> That has fxxxxd much of Shakespeare and others' writings.

Really? Is "gay" the only word in all of Shakespeare's work whose meaning has changed*? A have a strong feeling that you're talking total crap.

*The word has gained an additional meaning, and presumably because it was a word that was useful, its new meaning is now the more prominent of the two (or more?)
.
Post edited at 19:06
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I'm not sure what you're saying you'd prefer - a term which reflects the median emotional state of the minority group in question, or... etc.

Neither, I was just joking, in the context of this thread, I though some wag would tell me to stop digging or something like that.

I agree that going to a "queer bar" or a campaign for "queer marriage" doesn't exactly trip off the tongue with the same elegance though... Maybe no "carefully chosen term with the right connotations" is required at all then? Ditto for different human visible sub-groups?

PS. Whenever I hear people using the word "coloured" in this way I'm always inclined to ask "What colour?"
Jon Stewart - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Maybe no "carefully chosen term with the right connotations" is required at all then? Ditto for different human visible sub-groups?

Not sure how that would work?! Things that exist tend to have words to describe them.

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

So Bruce, what's the derivation of the phrase "to call a spade a spade"?
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I suspect it's a subset of the old "Calling a tool a tool".

Other elements are "Calling a shovel a shovel", "Calling a gimlet a gimlet" and so on.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I think you should be cautious using it - it has racist implications since a "spade" became a racial slur for a black person.
wbo - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:
Well I think it's notable that it demonstrates that Clarkson truly is a racist git if he'll happily mutter it when he thinks he can get away with it.

Or is he only racist if it's intended for. Tv?
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Rather liked this, which I came across while trying to answer your question.

>http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/an-etiquette-guide-for-straight-people-in-gay-bars

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Whenever I hear people using the word "coloured" in this way I'm always inclined to ask "What colour?"

I knew it. You're Stan Collymore.

jcm
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Meanwhile outside this earth shattering debate the civil war is starting in the Ukraine, helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles are killing civilians in droves at the orders of a self proclaimed regime containing a significant fascist component (never mind those who mess with words) and not a peep is to be heard from the defenders of freedom throughout the world.

Does it matter what this motoring journalist said?
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> So Bruce, what's the derivation of the phrase "to call a spade a spade"?

Erasmus, according to the internet. People considering that offensive would be a example of the sort of bollocks I'm deploring.

jcm
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It illustrates what I said earlier about it being difficult to follow what's acceptable and what isn't.
Goucho on 02 May 2014
In reply to wbo:

> Well I think it's notable that it demonstrates that Clarkson truly is a racist git if he'll happily mutter it when he thinks he can get away with it.

> Or is he only racist if it's intended for. Tv?

Isn't it only offensive, when it is said publicly, and someone else is actually offended? Or, you're a Daily Mail or Guardian reader, in which case you're allowed to be offended because someone else was, because you like nothing more than a good old 'offended of Orpington' bandwagon to jump on.

I hope you get equally offended by the violent and misogynistic lyrics of Rap artists, who's music is available to be purchased by 12 year old's in Tesco?
Skol on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Mmm. I don't like cars or top gear, or Jeremy Clarkson from the persona that is presented in the papers. But...
He's of a similar age to myself, and those are the words that I know to that rhyme. A younger colleague agreed that it was harmless.
I think his apology should be accepted. I'm more intrigued about Gerry Adams. I bet he is glad to be in the papers at the same time as Clarkson and Peaches?
FactorXXX - on 02 May 2014
In reply to wbo:

Well I think it's notable that it demonstrates that Clarkson truly is a racist git if he'll happily mutter it when he thinks he can get away with it.

Alternatively, it was scripted so that section of the phrase was deliberately mumbled and ambiguous and a play on how it has changed in recent times.
Clarkson in all probability mumbled something similar to the word in question, the BBC realised it wasn't quite unambiguous enough and didn't use it.
The Mirror found it and decided to make something out of it. It's interesting that they had to use a Forensic Analyst to decipher it when most people would have missed it.
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Meanwhile outside this earth shattering debate the civil war is starting in the Ukraine, helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles are killing civilians in droves at the orders of a self proclaimed regime containing a significant fascist component (never mind those who mess with words) and not a peep is to be heard from the defenders of freedom throughout the world.

>
Civilians my arse. How about "gunships of of self proclaimed regime containing a significant fascist component attacking militarised supporters of kleptocratic quasi fascist regime"?

Oh, I forgot, the enemy of my enemy must be my friend. Do you have any thought processes beyond that?

Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

If you read the reports the Kiev spokespeople complain about the "rebels" using civilians as "human shields"... as you are doubtless aware human bodies don't make very good shields against modern weapons. These people came to power on the wave of outrage that followed the month's old demonstrations and quite violent occupations of buildings, just as we've seen in E Ukraine of late, coming to a head when dozens died from shooting. The blame being put on the Ukrainian forces of the time. A famous quote was: "When a government using firearms against it's own people it has lost all legitimacy."

What they are doing now goes far beyond what happened back then... but sorry, we shouldn't get off the all important debate about what some wanker said off-mike on a motoring programme. I only mentioned it because I just saw the news.
Dave B on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

What is the dual meaning of Shakespeare's play, 'much ado about nothing'?

Well, it's a play about not much, but nothing was also a colloquial term for a private parts of a woman. Yes, it's also a play about sex..

Enty - on 02 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Erasmus, according to the internet. People considering that offensive would be a example of the sort of bollocks I'm deploring.

> jcm

I'm definitely with you on the spade argument.

you may not want to call a spade a spade. You may prefer to call it a spatulous device for abrading the surface of the soil. Better, however, to stick to the old familiar, simple name that your grandfather called it.

E
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> If you read the reports the Kiev spokespeople complain about the "rebels" using civilians as "human shields"... as you are doubtless aware human bodies don't make very good shields against modern weapons. These people came to power on the wave of outrage that followed the month's old demonstrations and quite violent occupations of buildings, just as we've seen in E Ukraine of late, coming to a head when dozens died from shooting. The blame being put on the Ukrainian forces of the time. A famous quote was: "When a government using firearms against it's own people it has lost all legitimacy."

>
Here's a clue Bruce. It's not a football game with goodies and baddies. It's a desperately complicated conflict with many grey areas and many baddies on both sides and people being manipulated by dubious forces on both sides and grim prospects for the outcome. And none of us, nor probably them, really know what's going on.

So FFS stop pretending otherwise.

Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

That's just a cop out, if you applied this logic to life none of us could even vote at election times. Being an adult human being is making judgements in situations which are always unclear. We have ample information to form an opinion on what's going on in Ukraine if we want to... alternatively we could say it's all too complicated and sit on the fence watching the blood flowing in a far away country, to misquote your late guru.
Kai - on 02 May 2014
MG - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

We've got from Jeremy to Ukraine. Impressive.
Timmd on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> That's just a cop out, if you applied this logic to life none of us could even vote at election times. Being an adult human being is making judgements in situations which are always unclear. We have ample information to form an opinion on what's going on in Ukraine if we want to... alternatively we could say it's all too complicated and sit on the fence watching the blood flowing in a far away country, to misquote your late guru.

Who were the people acting together like trained soldiers in the plain green uniforms then Bruce?

You can't deny that Russia very very likely has a hand in the chaos which is ensuing, there have even been Kalashnikovs(sp) being carried which aren't officially for sale yet...
Post edited at 20:58
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> That's just a cop out, if you applied this logic to life none of us could even vote at election times. Being an adult human being is making judgements in situations which are always unclear. We have ample information to form an opinion on what's going on in Ukraine if we want to... alternatively we could say it's all too complicated and sit on the fence watching the blood flowing in a far away country, to misquote your late guru.

We don't have to vote on this. Any decent person would think that if they have a role it is to support a peaceful settlement rather than wave the flag for one group of thugs because they don't like the supporters of the other group of thugs But some people prefer to see the blood flow I guess.
mockerkin on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Don't they just explain that when a character in those days said that they were "gay" it did not mean that they were homosexual just "happy"?

Probably, I was thinking of eight year olds who when being asked to write their own poem about e.g. spring would typically write like this.
"It is the month of May, and all the lambs are gay"


> Really? Is "gay" the only word in all of Shakespeare's work whose meaning has changed*?

No, but it is a word that has changed it's meaning vastly.

> *The word has gained an additional meaning, and presumably because it was a word that was useful, its new meaning is now the more prominent of the two (or more?)

So? it has gone from being a word with a simple meaning, to one which one has two meanings, one of which will confuse the youngsters. Also it has meant that no-one now can use the original meaning of "gay" without misunderstandings. Who can now say that they are feeling gay without everyone assuming that the person meant homosexual? So it has been hijacked.
It's only the abuse of the English language that I am discussing here, not sexuality.


Rob Exile Ward on 02 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

You've been reading/listening to that Western media again. All Russia wants is self determination, transparency and free and fair elections everywhere.

That St Putin, he's second only to Mandela.
Timmd on 02 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: Silly me. I'll watch Russia Today for something impartial.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> You can't deny that Russia very very likely has a hand in the chaos which is ensuing...

... ensuing from the chaos inspired by the West both in bringing down the USSR (remember the Cold War?) then it's break up (remember Yeltsin and his deal with the rulers of Belorussia and Ukraine?) and the Orange revolution and the following "Battle of the Corrupt", then months of barricades and petrol bombs to get rid of the elected (but rather too pro-Russian) government.

The people in the East of Ukraine are horrified by the chaos they saw in Kiev, they are the ones that produce much of Ukraine's dwindling riches, the industrial heart of the country.. as many have said on the telly, what they want is stability and a return to the life that they were used to until all this started on the other side of their country.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> Silly me. I'll watch Russia Today for something impartial.

You won't though, you'll watch the BBC, Sky News or whatever your poison is... Don't imagine that you are any more intelligent than people in other countries, even if you have been taught to hate them all your life, that your channels of information are any less manipulative than the ones you make fun of.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

And who appointed you their spokesman?

There was some question about the sophistication of the weaponry used to shoot down those two helicopters, wasn't there? If I was a cynic, I might suggest it was used by Russian special forces.
Rob Exile Ward on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

'ensuing from the chaos inspired by the West both in bringing down the USSR (remember the Cold War?) '

I remember the Cold War very well Bruce, IIRC the USSR were quite happy to participate until they - ahem - lost.

The USSR was a failed state built on 20 million deaths, it failed because despite the most draconian powers it couldn't deliver what the people wanted - food - toilet paper - razor blades - holidays - and some basic level of personal freedom to say 'f*ck you'. It failed, and will fail again under Putin, and buffoons like you will go to your graves saying that you've seen the future, it hasn't failed yet, and why doesn't everyone else see it.
Paul Atkinson - on 02 May 2014
In reply to mockerkin:

> Probably, I was thinking of eight year olds who when being asked to write their own poem about e.g. spring would typically write like this.

> "It is the month of May, and all the lambs are gay"

> No, but it is a word that has changed it's meaning vastly.

> So? it has gone from being a word with a simple meaning, to one which one has two meanings, one of which will confuse the youngsters. Also it has meant that no-one now can use the original meaning of "gay" without misunderstandings. Who can now say that they are feeling gay without everyone assuming that the person meant homosexual? So it has been hijacked.

> It's only the abuse of the English language that I am discussing here, not sexuality.

It is linguistic evolution, not abuse. 50 years ago to describe someone as being "tight" would, dictionary definitions aside, have meant that they were pissed (or miserly), to do so today would mean they were being cruel, unfair, intolerant (or miserly). The principal meaning of very many words has changed over time - take "nice" as a prime example. There is no hijack with "gay", just the impotent bellowing of a few bigots trying to portray it that way
P
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I think Putin might find that his current popularity might wane when the economic effects of Russia's actions are felt. The rouble is devalued, money is flooding from the country, standards of living are falling and countries are reducing their reliance on Russian gas, which will only make things worse.
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> You won't though, you'll watch the BBC, Sky News or whatever your poison is... Don't imagine that you are any more intelligent than people in other countries, even if you have been taught to hate them all your life, that your channels of information are any less manipulative than the ones you make fun of.

And don't imagine you're any more intelligent than other people because you parrot the stuff off whatever your poison is. The main difference is that some people choose to believe their propaganda of choice regardless of the consequences.

Others are more humble.
Post edited at 22:13
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> If I was a cynic, I might suggest it was used by Russian special forces.

If you were a naïve fool who hasn't read the papers for decades you would, the Vietnamese shot down helicopters with home made rockets and islamists seem to do quite well with hand held ground to air missiles. Since the Libyan escapade there are shedloads of this stuff floating around, and anyway no one denies that the Russians could be supplying arms, just as "our side" is helping the Kiev junta... They've just been promised $17 Billion from the FMI.

The only solution is either splitting the country in two or a federal system but the West and Kiev don't seem to want a compromise, they prefer destruction like in Yugoslavia. If no one stops them we'll have another Yugoslavia but on a far bigger scale... Does this appeal to you, or your friends over there?

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

The only thing they've said to me is that they don't want to be part of Russia and they don't want a war. It seems to me that both are now inevitable. It's such a mess.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Your still haven't twigged that Russia is no longer communist, have you? You don't have to hate them anymore.

And your "memory" of the Cold War (you can't really be that old, can you?) is a little jaded, you don't even appear to "remember" who started it.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

"Tight" is still used to mean both drunk or tight-fisted ie. "mean", nothing has changed on that one. How has "nice" changed? Let's no mistake regional differences with overall linguistic change.
Enty - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

A funny thing happened tonight. I clicked on a thread which read "Jeremy Clarkson's Apology", then I clicked on "bottom of page". then I read this:
The only thing they've said to me is that they don't want to be part of Russia and they don't want a war. It seems to me that both are now inevitable. It's such a mess.

WTF?

E
Paul Atkinson - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I don't think anyone born after about 1960 (maybe much earlier) would ever use the word "tight" to mean drunk although they would understand it in a historical context in literature etc.

The word "nice" originally meant "proper, respectable, appropriate, done well within the social norms" rather than its meaning from the mid-late 20th C onwards of "kind, friendly" or later, "cool, spot on, great".

The primary meaning of the word "gay" has changed - understand that or live in the 1950s. Thankfully most people, including young kids, are intelligent enough to take on the variety of meanings without blowing a fuse and can read old literature without becoming apoplectic

P
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

Here's a report, not from RT but the British equivalent, that may shake your certainties:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27258501
FactorXXX - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

A funny thing happened tonight. I clicked on a thread which read "Jeremy Clarkson's Apology", then I clicked on "bottom of page". then I read this:
The only thing they've said to me is that they don't want to be part of Russia and they don't want a war. It seems to me that both are now inevitable. It's such a mess.

On this day in 1982, the General Belgrano was justifiably sunk.
Rule Britannia!!!
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> The word "nice" originally meant "proper, respectable, appropriate, done well within the social norms" rather than its meaning from the mid-late 20th C onwards of "kind, friendly" or later, "cool, spot on, great".
>
Interestingly the original meaning of "nice" was foolish or stupid. Then it came to mean subtle or clever, as in "nice distinction" and then adopted its current meaning.
In reply to Postmanpat:

It was actually named after the biscuit.
Postmanpat on 02 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> It was actually named after the biscuit.

Don't be silly.












It was named after a city in Southern France
Bruce Hooker - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> I don't think anyone born after about 1960 (maybe much earlier) would ever use the word "tight" to mean drunk

Clearly you're not a Londoner, it's still perfectly standard down here.

As for "nice", your explanation doesn't really demonstrate a major difference. It went through it's innuendo period during the "Carry On" days but it's back to normal now... Don't you ever say "I fancy a nice cup of tea"?, or "let's go out, it's going to be a nice day", "Jimmy seems like a nice bloke"... no change that I can see.

As for "gay" no one is denying that it has developed an extra meaning, in fact two as some kids use it to in a pejorative way, but that's fairly marginal, but the old meaning is still lurking there and could well come back in a few years... languages change, especially English which has no "English Academy" to battle to freeze it.

Andy Say - on 02 May 2014
In reply to doz generale:

> Just heard that "Biracial" is also offensive as it assumes that humanity is more then one race.

> The new PC term is "Dual herritage"

So the accepted (i.e PC correct) version has changed within 12 minutes?

And is the new term really 'dual herritage'? Or should it be spelt correctly.

Or are you just posting total bollocks?
Paul Atkinson - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/nice

this doesn't really give a statistical idea of the shift in intended meaning with time which has undoubtedly taken place but certainly supports the fact that general understanding has been mutable. Whatever the case with "nice" which I chose off the top of my head as an example, the fact is that the word "gay" has a new and widely accepted primary meaning which has enriched the language and culture without negating the original and now historic meaning. Only bigots seem to have a problem with this

P
Andy Say - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't know what you're trying to say. That we should teach kids that using "nigger" is usually offensive but is OK if the context carries an appropriate historical background?

That might enable them to read Huckleberry Finn without an excessive guilt trip.
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

>Only bigots seem to have a problem with this

'Bigots', eh?

Do you ever wonder why some people run away with the idea that homosexuals are a bit of a chippy and over-sensitive lot?

jcm
stroppygob - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Trangia: One of the downsides to living over here is that you go to bed, aware of this storm in a tea cup, but when you get up there's a 235 post thread about it, replying to which would be pointless.
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to Andy Say:

Oh, he's definitely not talking total bollocks. My wife works in some kind of PC administrative role, and 'dual heritage' is definitely what they go for.

Here, for example, is Merton Council rockin' it for the new correctness.

>http://www.merton.gov.uk/health-social-care/children-family-health-social-care/fostering-adoption/ad...

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

"DOWNsides"??!?
Bruce Hooker - on 03 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> A funny thing happened tonight. I clicked on a thread which read "Jeremy Clarkson's Apology", then I clicked on "bottom of page". then I read this:

> The only thing they've said to me is that they don't want to be part of Russia and they don't want a war. It seems to me that both are now inevitable. It's such a mess.

Well what it is is that language changes, you see. When the thread started "Jeremy Clarkson's Apology" was about some clapped out old TV presenter who'd dropped a clanger, but in the few hours that followed this came to mean "What the hell's going on in Ukraine".

It's here to stay and anyone who doesn't think so is an old bigot who should be castrated and sent for execution in Oklahoma.
The New NickB - on 03 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> >Only bigots seem to have a problem with this

> 'Bigots', eh?

> Do you ever wonder why some people run away with the idea that homosexuals are a bit of a chippy and over-sensitive lot?

> jcm

Interesting assumption. A wrong one if memory serves.
johncoxmysteriously - on 03 May 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

I wasn't assuming anything. You don't have to actually be homosexual in order to assist in promoting the impression I mentioned.

jcm
The New NickB - on 03 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I wasn't assuming anything. You don't have to actually be homosexual in order to assist in promoting the impression I mentioned.

> jcm

I'll let other judge if you made that point successfully. Seems more than a little odd to me.
stroppygob - on 03 May 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

LOL!! Fair point :-)
FactorXXX - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

the fact is that the word "gay" has a new and widely accepted primary meaning which has enriched the language and culture without negating the original and now historic meaning. Only bigots seem to have a problem with this

Don't some people, now use 'Gay' to mean 'a bit rubbish/naff' and sectors of the gay community have complained about this, saying that the word should remain unique to their preferred usage?

Jon Stewart - on 03 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Don't some people, now use 'Gay' to mean 'a bit rubbish/naff' and sectors of the gay community have complained about this, saying that the word should remain unique to their preferred usage?

This has been discussed a fair bit on here. It depends on how it's used but sometimes I find 'gay' being used to mean 'crap' quite grating. Given the errm, diversity, of this thread I don't mind rising to this bait. The trouble is that this new use of 'gay' is not unconnected to its meaning for homosexual people. It can be shorthand for 'crap in the way that gay people are crap' and as such it can be unpleasant depending on the subtlety of how it's used. There are good reasons why Stonewall ran a campaign about it.
Bruce Hooker - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> There are good reasons why Stonewall ran a campaign about it.

Stonewall Jackson?
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I think schools have had a big impact on that. About a decade ago hearing "that's so gay"/"come on, don't be so gay" seemed quite common in the UK, but earlier this year I spent some weeks in English schools and didn't hear it once. I was also very impressed how completely uninterested kids seemed in differences in sexuality and because of that I'm sure I met a number of sixth formers at least who were quite openly gay. There was very little meanness and homophobia even 25 years back when I was in sixth form but no one was openly gay and it was more a don't ask don't tell sort of situation back then.
Post edited at 07:50
Mike Stretford - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> Before being so insulting, please read what I wrote.

Oh come on it's that that insulting, everyone talks shite now and again including me, but I'll try and be more polite. You have talked yourself into a corner on this one.

> I completely understand the issue, what I said was that as a kid reciting that rhyme, I never considered the meaning of it. That was 35 years ago. I also said that I may have recited the same rhyme now without thinking about it.

You're an intelligent bloke, so the notion that the n word wouldn't draw your attention because it's wrapped up in nursery rhyme seems fanciful to say the least.

To be fair, you did say this

"If he knew what he was doing and was trying to push it as far as he could without getting into trouble, then he's an arsehole"

take the 'if' and 'then' out, and you've hit the nail on the head. It's obvious that's what he was doing, it's half of his act.
Post edited at 09:39
In reply to Mike Stretford:

I genuinely don't think that if I had started to recite that rhyme a week ago, I would have done so cognisant of the fact that it contained a racist word. As I have said many times, and others have supported, these rhymes are recited as children without analysis or consideration.

So, IF someone other than Clarkson, with an unblemished record, had recited this rhyme and been castigated, I think I would give them the benefit if the doubt.

As I have said later, the more I think about it, the less I think Clarkson should have the benefit of any doubt, because he has shown this capacity IMO for trying to get one over on the audience by slipping in these sort of references - the "slope on the bridge" being from my recollection the main example of this.

I'm not an apologist for Clarkson, although I do find him entertaining on Top Gear.

jon on 03 May 2014
In reply to Anyone:
I've just read somewhere that this was never broadcast (having assumed that it had been and was current). Someone leaked it to which ever newspaper it was that made it public. To me that puts all this crap in a rather different light. Would you agree? Do we know the source?
Post edited at 10:08
Postmanpat on 03 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I genuinely don't think that if I had started to recite that rhyme a week ago, I would have done so cognisant of the fact that it contained a racist word. As I have said many times, and others have supported, these rhymes are recited as children without analysis or consideration.

> So, IF someone other than Clarkson, with an unblemished record, had recited this rhyme and been castigated, I think I would give them the benefit if the doubt.

> As I have said later, the more I think about it, the less I think Clarkson should have the benefit of any doubt, because he has shown this capacity IMO for trying to get one over on the audience by slipping in these sort of references - the "slope on the bridge" being from my recollection the main example of this.

>
It's not really a sound argument is it? Can you imagine a court of law finding someone guilty because "we think he's been a bit dodgy in the past so should go down for this"?

One can see it both ways: that he was rehearsing off screen so used the original word he was brought up with but mumbled it in acknowledgement it was inappropriate and changed it for the actually recording, or, that he deliberately kept it in because he really thinks it stupid that anyone gives a shit. Or a third, I guess, that he said it because he is a racist and wanted to offend black people.

Personally I guess the former but could be the second. Since we can never know it seems vindictive to call for his head on the basis of surmise.


In reply to Postmanpat:

I wasn't talking about how a court or his employers should judge him, I was talking about how I form an opinion of him, my opinion ultimately being irrelevant in the matter.

I think he deliberately plays with fire, and at some point he'll get burnt.
Bruce Hooker - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Serious question, do you think someone should be fired if he uses the word "nigger" in any circumstances? In this case off-mike preparing a shoot using a well known nursery rhyme used when choosing between two options on a random basis, or in another case someone suggesting as suitable reading Joseph Conrad's "Nigger of the Narcissus"?

I seem to remember we had this as reading for O-level English lit, looking it up just now to check the spelling I see that a publisher has re-edited it as the "N-word of the Narcissus"! How do you feel about this?
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> I genuinely don't think that if I had started to recite that rhyme a week ago, I would have done so cognisant of the fact that it contained a racist word.

What? Really? I remember clearly discussing that it was a racist word at first school, so the late 70s. I suspect my mum or dad had told me what the word meant but plenty of others at school knew it was a horrible word too. We used to say Indian instead, which is odd (I always thought of the "cowboys and..." type) but not actually racist.

> As I have said many times, and others have supported, these rhymes are recited as children without analysis or consideration.

Obviously not true from my experience 30+ years ago and I can't imagine kids now saying it at all.
redsonja - on 03 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

well, its true from my experience- as I have said, we said this rhyme as kids, and it was just a word to us which we didn't even think about
redsonja - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I see what you mean about people not understanding!!
Timmd on 03 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> You won't though, you'll watch the BBC, Sky News or whatever your poison is... Don't imagine that you are any more intelligent than people in other countries, even if you have been taught to hate them all your life, that your channels of information are any less manipulative than the ones you make fun of.

I haven't been taught to hate anybody, good grief (Your faith in your ability to know the thoughts of others is remarkable?)*, but honestly, do you really think in a country where journalists who are too critical of the establishment in Russia keep ending up murdered by people who are never caught, the main TV broadcaster is going to be objective?

Russia would be amongst the last countries one would describe as having a free press. Do some research into the many journalists who have been killed in Russia, and into what they talked about before they died...

*I'm very aware that Russia and the USSR has long been portrayed as a threat and sinister in the western press since the USSR was formed.
Post edited at 12:30
redsonja - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

as Bruce so rightly says, there are far more important things going on in the world than what a TV presenter said. for instance, thousands of people are missing or dead in a mud slide in Afghanistan. But he cant blame the west for that so didn't bother mentioning it
Bruce Hooker - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> I haven't been taught to hate anybody, good grief (Your faith in your ability to know the thoughts of others is remarkable?)*,

So it came natural to you, did it? You appear to forget I've been reading your posts for years, they give a pretty fair insight into what you think, do they not?!

> but honestly, do you really think in a country where journalists who are too critical of the establishment in Russia keep ending up murdered by people who are never caught, the main TV broadcaster is going to be objective?

This is a fine example, you think that there are no critical independent journalists in Russia, but appear convinced that the same is not true in Britain... then tell me you haven't been taught to hate all your life... It beggars belief.

> Russia would be amongst the last countries one would describe as having a free press.

Really? Are you sure of that?

And Britain does? Take a look at the vocabulary used in the reporting of Ukraine in your free press, when it was pro-Western rioters building barricades, beating people up, lobbing petrol bombs and bricks at the police and occupying by extreme violence public buildings, then compare the vocabulary used when people in Eastern Ukraine do similar things, albeit on a much reduced scale... are you so brain washed that you don't even notice the difference.

Over 30 people died last night in Odessa, burnt or suffocated in a building they were taking refuge in... How much "shock/horror" is there to be seen in the British press? How many condemn the Nationalist football hooligans that were at work last night? How much sympathy for the dead and their families?

Compare also the vocabulary used when the previous regimes forces were fighting against those occupying Maidan square and that used to describe the present regime's use of not only police but the actual army with helicopter gunships, armoured cars and tanks now... Don't you notice the difference even and yet Ianoukovytch didn't use the army against the people, two governments but totally distorted pictures, in your free press.

PS. Did you look at the video I linked above? Doesn't it shake your certainties even just a little bit? Here's another, from the British state media again, not those nasty Ruskies:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27267247



Bruce Hooker - on 03 May 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> But he cant blame the west for that so didn't bother mentioning it

I hadn't seen it when I saw the news about Odessa last night... but, on the other hand, do you think it would have been as likely to have happened if Afghanistan hadn't been in a state of war for over 30 years? It all started in 1979 when the US administration took the decision to organise and finance the pseudo jihad there....

All the same I wouldn't have said that as the cause and effect is not so clear as in Ukraine. I don't think all the problems in the world are caused by the Western powers but as I am a citizen of one of them I feel more responsible and when we are slipping down the road to WW3 due to my country's appalling foreign policy it gets to me a bit more than events which were quite likely a natural catastrophe, even if "helped" by various human factors.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> you think that there are no critical independent journalists in Russia,

Have you met any of them? Just wondering as a number I have met now live in exile in places like Paris and London.
Rob Exile Ward on 03 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

'It all started in 1979 when the US administration took the decision to organise and finance the pseudo jihad there....'

Funny that, I could have sworn the 'recent' troubles in Afghanistan kicked off when Russia invaded. My memory must be playing tricks again.
crayefish - on 03 May 2014
In reply to MGC:

> (In reply to Trangia)
>
> ...but I would comment that whilst an unfortunate choice of word it is JUST A WORD.

Fully agree. Ok, so it's rude to use it, but it's also pretty rude to call someone a cnut and people don't have the same reaction over that.

There is a big difference between calling someone a nigger because you are purposely trying to use it in a derogetory term to specific indivdual(s) in it's original meaning and using the term in a nursery ryme or discussing it as a word in itself.

It is after all, just a word. The English lanugage is full of them, some bad some good, but words shouldn't be forgotten or eradicated because it offends someone. It's part of history and part of remembering that history is so that such mistakes as the slave trade can not be repeated again.

I would never call anyone a nigger and a broadcaster shouldn't be using that term, but the reaction is way over the top. Should he issue an appology? Yes probably. Should he be sacked? No.
Post edited at 15:19
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I don't think they should automatically, no. It depends on context etc.
In reply to TobyA:

I'm glad to see that you are more of an expert on what I know and think than I am.

What shall I have for my tea?
In reply to redsonja:

I know, I'm losing the will to live with it.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

This isn't a Russia thread.

White cracka ass.
Mike Stretford - on 03 May 2014
In reply to redsonja:

> I see what you mean about people not understanding!!

You must be older than people are assuming.

I thought Sub to G was about the same age as me (41), hence I responded with incredulity.
Mike Stretford - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> What shall I have for my tea?

Spam fritters.
In reply to Mike Stretford:

You can read me like a book.
Gordon Stainforth - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> One can see it both ways: that he was rehearsing off screen so used the original word he was brought up with but mumbled it in acknowledgement it was inappropriate and changed it for the actually recording, or, that he deliberately kept it in because he really thinks it stupid that anyone gives a shit. Or a third, I guess, that he said it because he is a racist and wanted to offend black people.

> Personally I guess the former but could be the second. Since we can never know it seems vindictive to call for his head on the basis of surmise.

Much as I dislike Clarkson, I suspect that your first suggestion is almost certainly correct, and that this really has been blown up out of all proportion. It's not as if he deliberately said this clearly and loudly on a live TV show. We are all, anyway, prone to say things spontaneously in private that we would never want broadcast. A lot of people seem to fasten on to the wrong things these days, imho, and miss those that really matter. In this case, leave off I say.
Bruce Hooker - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Funny that, I could have sworn the 'recent' troubles in Afghanistan kicked off when Russia invaded. My memory must be playing tricks again.

The open admitted stuff started in 79 but the lead up was much earlier. The last fairly stable period finished when the last king was overthrown by someone from his own family, Daoud, the country moved from monarchy to republic overnight, I went there during both periods but the only visible difference was the notice board on offices. The changes going on were hidden from the average tourist, the growth of the two rival communist factions that led to the overthrow of Daoud and the breakdown of the country and the Soviet intervention.

There's a good book on the subject called "Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism" by John Cooley.
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

You miss my point and mischaracterise what I said. I think we're roughly around the same age aren't we? It would have been '78 when I started primary school, and I knew that nigger was an offensive word then and so I remember did other people at school. I'm not saying you did (or should have done) but at least by the end of the 70s, going to an all white, small town first school, we knew it was a word to avoid.

And just as an afterthought or question to anyone else who has had a long interest in some hiphop: - I started listening to rap in middle school (mid 80s-ish I guess) and I don't remember rap that was commercially successful enough for an 11 year old in Worcestershire to hear back then ever including the N-word? I guess not until my late teens when I started listening to more political hip hop like PE that I started hearing it more?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUqvPJ3cbUQ :)
In reply to TobyA:

I'm a little older than you. I really can't remember at that age whether or not it was an issue. The point I am more trying to make, clearly without success, is that I never considered the meaning of the content of the rhyme. You or anyone else, may choose to disbelieve me, but it's true, and I'm struggling to understand what motive I would have for stating something that wasn't true. It's not me in Clarkson's position trying to defend myself.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 03 May 2014
I can see someone reciting a rhyme without necessarily considering the content. I believe you.
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I don't disbelieve you at all, but equally I just want to make the point that for many of us even going back quite a few decades we couldn't use that word 'unconsciously' or with out really thinking about it.

I don't know about Clarkson but suspect he's a lot cleverer than he sometimes pretends to be so suspect he was more being 'edgy' than forgetful.
In reply to TobyA:

On the balance of probabilities, you're probably right.
Nevis-the-cat - on 03 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Chatting to an Anglo-Indian girl today, she did not have a preference, so long as it was meant earnestly - mixed race was preferred, half caste accepted bi heritage or whatever just made her laugh.

The black lad said it was quite comedic listening to earnest white people tie themselves in knots. Black, dark and even coloured was ok so long as it was meant honestly, N*** as shouted at him on his bike from car windows was very very different...... "There's a difference between white people trying too hard to be right, and hate".
colin struthers - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Jeremy Clarkson is a dick.

Racially offensive language sucks.

But...

If I was black I think I might be a bit more animated about the continuing pay gap between white and black people, the persistence of widespread discrimination in recruitment, the fact that on average black people have less money, are more likely to be unemployed, have poorer housing, suffer worse health, are massively under-representedf in our elite universities and in our political system, and are sometimes the victims of a category of crime that is specifically defined in terms of hatred towards them.

All these might seem more pressing issues to me than a few words mumbled by an ageing fool on a dimwitted programme aimed at adolescent boys (of all ages)

And yet this is what our media obsess about when the issue of racism is discussed.

Could this possibly be because its easier (and less threatening to the status quo) if we get our knickers in a twist about Jeremy Clarkson than if we try to address these issues of deep seated structural inequality?
Ouncepounce - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Of far greater concern to me is that Polical correctness, and the desire for establishments such as the media to adhere to such 'correctness' has resulted in the almost complete removal of the freedom of speech. Those who choose to use language or hold views that may be offensive to others have every right to express and hold such views. I do not have to agree with them, and am quite grown up enough to ignore such comments, turn of the TV, or engage in interesting debate arising. I do not require any organisation, politcal faction etc to look after my interests I can do so all on my own.
Rob Exile Ward on 04 May 2014
In reply to j.brown960@btinternet.com:

'I do not require any organisation, politcal faction etc to look after my interests I can do so all on my own.'

Good for you.

When I was a kid mongol, spastic and cripple were all routine terms of abuse. I'm very glad that 'political correctness' has seen them off.
Paul Atkinson - on 04 May 2014
Goucho on 04 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> This is spot in IMHO

Apart from the fact that, like every other commentator, he completely ignores the fact that none of this was actually broadcast - it was an outtake which was leaked (I wonder why?) to the Daily Mirror, who still had to employ a forensic sound engineer, who after many hours, concluded that she was 75% sure that she could make out the 'N' word.

See how many Barristers you can find who'll happily take this on as a prosecution in a court of law?

Clarkson has got form, and at times is a complete knob, but the hanging court of public opinion is baying for his blood irrespective of the actual facts.

And if the 'N' word, is so offensive (which I completely agree it is), why is it acceptable for black people to use it when greeting another black person?

That's the equivalent of saying it's perfectly ok for someone to call a person in a wheelchair a cripple, if they're in a wheelchair too.

If a word is offensive, it's offensive full stop, not just for certain sections of the community.
Paul Atkinson - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

Whether the word was broadcast or not is a peripheral issue of scale. The fact is that he used it and, given that he mumbled just this word in a sentence, the idea that its use was subconscious is frankly risible. It is important because it encourages the view that it's ok to be racist but best to keep it under wraps except among like minded people. His primary demographic is feeble minded young and middle aged men and the battle against racism is still hard fought here.

People who belong to minorities which have been vilified and oppressed for centuries have a bit of special licence with their use of vocabulary IMHO. That's not really a difficult concept to understand, a bit of the humour of the trenches - life and society are complex enough to allow philosophically and ethically for such double standards to exist. I know black, asian gay and disabled people who will delight in playing with the language of bigotry and I have no difficulty at all in understanding why they do this and also why it's still not acceptable for others to do so. What is and what is not acceptable behaviour has always been fluid and nuanced but Clarkson is nowhere near skirting the line here, he is well over it

P
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> but Clarkson is nowhere near skirting the line here, he is well over it

Except that it was never broadcast and nobody would even have the possibility to be offended if it hadn't been for someone who has it in for the bloke who made it all public... As said already, there are many more important things to get excited about.
Sally Bustyerface - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> As said already, there are many more important things to get excited about.

A bit rich given the stuff that you get excited about. Still, "as already said" (i.e. from your frequent posts on such subjects), you don't tend to give much credence to claims of sexism or racism, no matter how overt. Not stopping you having an opinion mind (I know you are sensitive on this issue) just challenging it.

andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Except that it was never broadcast...

Neither was Big Ron's us of it, or Carol Thatcher calling someone a "golliwog" - if someone used that word where I work it wouldn't be broadcast either, but I'd expect them to be called out on it (as indeed they were at my previous place someone looked round the room at a sea of white, middle aged blokes and said "and that, gentlemen, is what I think we might call the nigger in the woodpile, if I'm still allowed to say that!" (smirks all round that all started to look uncomfortable when a mate said "actually, no, you're not, and if you say it again I'll make sure HR know about it").
Goucho on 04 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

Whether the word was broadcast or not is a peripheral issue of scale...

That is just so plainly bollocks - if it wasn't broadcast, how could anyone be offended by it??? So in your opinion, anyone who holds what could be interpreted as racist views, should be immediately sacked?

His primary demographic is feeble minded young and middle aged men and the battle against racism is still hard fought here.

I think this comment (or lazy stereotypical cliched generality) demonstrates, your opinion of Clarkson is already entrenched, and therefore somewhat biased

So in your opinion, if this had been eavesdropped at his home, you still think he should be sacked for it.

I'm sure if it was someone other than Clarkson, you might possibly have a different 'benefit of the doubt' approach. But as it's Clarkson, and he's got form, your approach is lets have him?

I hope to god you never end up on a jury.

Jon Stewart - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:
> So in your opinion, if this had been eavesdropped at his home, you still think he should be sacked for it.

This could certainly be argued either way. Lots of jobs with public responsibility carry obligations into one's private life. If it was revealed that I was a racist in my private life, I could expect to be struck off from my profession. Should the same be true in broadcasting?

> I'm sure if it was someone other than Clarkson, you might possibly have a different 'benefit of the doubt' approach. But as it's Clarkson, and he's got form, your approach is lets have him?

> I hope to god you never end up on a jury.

Well we do already know he likes to make money by flirting with casual racism as a way to appeal to an audience who think that's funny. That gives more context. On the other hand, the fact that it has so maliciously been brought into the spotlight is also worth considering. Not clear cut for me. Although because I hate him, I would quite happily see him burnt at the stake for this, or any, infraction.
Post edited at 15:33
tlm - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> That's the equivalent of saying it's perfectly ok for someone to call a person in a wheelchair a cripple, if they're in a wheelchair too.

The crips have already reclaimed their word in a reclaiming political sense...

http://cripconfessions.com/archives/category/disability-culture
tlm - on 04 May 2014
Paul Atkinson - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> Whether the word was broadcast or not is a peripheral issue of scale...

> That is just so plainly bollocks - if it wasn't broadcast, how could anyone be offended by it??? So in your opinion, anyone who holds what could be interpreted as racist views, should be immediately sacked?

Can you point out where I said he should be sacked?

Don't you think there's a difference between holding and expressing racist views when you are a national broadcaster and a hero/sage/role model to quite a lot of people and doing it when you are, say, a butcher, baker or candlestick maker?

It's not difficult to avoid saying unacceptable things at work, even if you have to bottle up your repugnant views to the point of bursting; in fact stringent rules apply in many professions and people seem to manage ok

> His primary demographic is feeble minded young and middle aged men and the battle against racism is still hard fought here.

I know, I know, but I so enjoyed typing it

> I think this comment (or lazy stereotypical cliched generality) demonstrates, your opinion of Clarkson is already entrenched, and therefore somewhat biased

Racism, homophobia and sexism are the most pernicious of all lazy generalisations

> So in your opinion, if this had been eavesdropped at his home, you still think he should be sacked for it.

See above

> I'm sure if it was someone other than Clarkson, you might possibly have a different 'benefit of the doubt' approach. But as it's Clarkson, and he's got form, your approach is lets have him?

I do despise the scumbag for his views but in this case it's nothing personal - he wouldn't be in this shitstorm if he had a vague sense of professionalism. Many/most people would be in disciplinary trouble for saying what he said at work

> I hope to god you never end up on a jury.

Better keep the well educated and liberal minded out of such matters - they never come up with the goods?
Goucho on 04 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

And of course, I presume you have actually heard this outtake?? -surely you must have done, to have formed such a 'guilty' verdict on him?

I wonder why the Mirror never released this outtake, so we can all make up our own minds (apart from the fact it was obtained illegally)?

I wonder whether it's because if they did, there's a possibility that the vast majority of people might not be able actually distinguish the 'N' word?

Of course, we should just take the Daily Mirrors word that he did say it.

After all, this is the same Daily Mirror which published pictures of British soldiers torturing Iraq prisoners of war - the same pictures which were exposed as fakes resulting in the sacking of the then editor Piers Morgan, and a multi-million pound lawsuit!!!!

But hey, in your world, the very fact that he chose the childrens rhyme 'eeny meeny miny' proves that he was obviously trying to slide a deliberate racist gag under the radar - of course?


tlm - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> I wonder why the Mirror never released this outtake, so we can all make up our own minds (apart from the fact it was obtained illegally)?

They did. It's here:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/video-watch-jeremy-clarkson-use-3481201
Le Chevalier Mal Fet - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Skyfall:

> It was the n word when I was a child in the 60's. and I genuinely never thought what it actually meant. Weird in hindsight.

Same with me in the late 70's. I didn't even know what it meant.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014

Chevy Chase once used the word nigger on set, Alan Hansen used the word coloured on set too. Neither were sacked, because I imagine their bosses had an idea of 'context', which the average Daily Mirror reader struggles with. Reciting a rhyme that you were taught at the school is not inherently racist. Saying that 'black people are inferior to white people' is racist. One has an offensive word and is not racist, the other have followed the correct conventions of terminolgy yet is racist. It's a pretty simple concept.

Jeremy Clarkson is not apologising for being racist, he's apologising for the use an offensive word that was drilled into him at an early age.

He may be all the derogative terms under the sun. However, he has not given anyone enough rope to hang himself as a racist on this one.
Post edited at 16:48
tlm - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> I wonder whether it's because if they did, there's a possibility that the vast majority of people might not be able actually distinguish the 'N' word?

Also, the video is convincing enough to have convinced old Clarkson that he had better retract saying he had never used the word and to give out an apology instead, so it convinced him, at any rate.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
It didn't convince me but there's an 'O' sound in there. The only version of the Rhyme that I am aware would have an 'O' sound in that part would be the one that uses the word 'negro'. It's by the powers of deduction rather than actually hearing and that we work out the word.
Post edited at 16:52
Enty - on 04 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Alan Hansen used the word coloured on set too.


In the article which everyone is raving about by Musa Okwonga he says I am a writer of colour trying to make his career as best he can

So is coloured or colour ok?? I always thought it was negative.

No matter what camp you're in regarding JC - does anyone honestly think he's racist?

E
andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
He knows it's offensive. If you watch the clip it didn't "slip out", otherwise why mumble that line and speak the rest clearly? I suspect he's enjoying the spluttering outrage, and knew that's what would happen if the footage was broadcast.

He's probably not a racist, but he has form for saying offensive things in an attempt to pander to his fanbase, many of whom are not affected by being the victims of prejudice or exclusion, and so "can't understand why anyone would be offended - it's just a word".

Hansen wasn't sacked, but both Carol Thatcher and Ron Atkinson were - but obviously the BBC won't fire Clarkson, just as they didn't fire that dancer for saying his mixed-race partner looked "like a Paki" after she'd had a spray tan.

I think they've done the right thing - he's apologised and is apparently on his final warning. If another racist epithet "slips out" then fire him.
ads.ukclimbing.com
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> He knows it's offensive. If you watch the clip it didn't "slip out", otherwise why mumble that line and speak the rest clearly? I suspect he's enjoying the spluttering outrage, and knew that's what would happen if the footage was broadcast.

Are you implying that Clarkson leaked the footage?
tlm - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> , many of whom are not affected by being the victims of prejudice or exclusion, and so "can't understand why anyone would be offended - it's just a word".

That is the very phrase that I couldn't find the words for. If you never experience something yourself, it can just seem like pointless censoring, chip on shoulder, first world problem stuff - easy enough to dismiss with a shrug.
andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
No, but he may have thought that they might broadcast it. I'm not sure whether it was broadcast is really the point. The fact is, he was at work - if someone I work with used that word then they'd expect to be in trouble - wouldn't that happen where you work?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:
> No, but he may have thought that they might broadcast it. I'm not sure whether it was broadcast is really the point. The fact is, he was at work - if someone I work with used that word then they'd expect to be in trouble - wouldn't that happen where you work?

It's nothing about whether the footage got leaked or not. The two case presented are:

A) He did it because he thought it would be funny and get a tickle from some of the viewers

B) Honest mistake

If it's A I'd expect the sack. B I'd expect a warning to be handed out.
Post edited at 17:07
andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Enty:



> No matter what camp you're in regarding JC - does anyone honestly think he's racist?

> E

I have no idea - but his "edgy" use of the word "slope" and this film would suggest he thinks racist language is funny, rather than offensive, which I guess could give some insight into his attitude to minorities.
andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> It's nothing about whether the footage got leaked or not. The two case presented are:

> A) He did it because he thought it would be funny and get a tickle from some of the viewers

> B) Honest mistake

> If it's A I'd expect the sack. B I'd expect a warning to be handed out.

I don't for a moment believe it's B. Do you?

If you used "nigger" (in any context) at work, do you think that might bring some consequences? It would where I do.
Post edited at 17:10
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> I don't for a moment believe it's B. Do you?

I don't know, I'm not in Clarkson's head.

I think A requires knowledge that someone in his crew is going to stitch him up.

A means that Clarkon realises it will put his job at Jeopardy but it's worth it for the crack.

r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> If you used "nigger" (in any context) at work, do you think that might bring some consequences? It would where I do.

I've already said it would.
andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> I don't know, I'm not in Clarkson's head.

> I think A requires knowledge that someone in his crew is going to stitch him up.

> A means that Clarkon realises it will put his job at Jeopardy but it's worth it for the crack.

Or he works with a bunch of people just like him and he thought they'd think it was funny?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> Or he works with a bunch of people just like him and he thought they'd think it was funny?

Not really, he'd do it once, not for four or five different takes. No one was laughing in the background, whatever he is doing, he is doing it in all seriousness.
Goucho on 04 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> They did. It's here:


Wow...that's so convincing - NOT!
FactorXXX - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

The fact is, he was at work - if someone I work with used that word then they'd expect to be in trouble - wouldn't that happen where you work?

Did he say really it though? The released footage is hardly conclusive...
Additionally, isn't the show scripted? Or, at least the intended individual presenters content discussed before hand?
If that is the case, then you can't really single out Clarkson as the whole show should be accountable.

My feeling, is that the production team discussed the concept and on reviewing it, saw it didn't work as intended and decided not to use it. That actually shows a responsible attitude, as opposed to the one that the Mirror is trying to portray.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> when a mate said "actually, no, you're not, and if you say it again I'll make sure HR know about it").

What a charming world you live in! "Don't be beastly or I'll tell the teacher!"
Rob Exile Ward on 04 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

As a matter of fact he does Bruce. You might choose to consider that maybe it is you that is out of step.
andy - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
In the world of work, bruce, what do you think is the appropriate response? Have a laugh with the rest of them? Smack him in the gob? Or pass it to the department whose job it is to ensure employees can go to work and not have to listen to that sort of shit?

As Rob says, it's you who is out of step if you think that sort of thing should go unchallenged.
Post edited at 23:13
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Sally Bustyerface:

> you don't tend to give much credence to claims of sexism... etc.

On the contrary when you were on your sexist trip the other day I was somewhat critical, whatever you are, man or woman? I suspect you're a male in fact.
Jon Stewart - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

> does anyone honestly think he's racist?

There isn't really an answer to that question. If you flirt with casual racism for money then that shows you hold the issue in low regard. Does that make you "racist"? Semantics, isn't it.

Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Although because I hate him...

Why do you hate him? I can quite see why you wouldn't like programs about powerful cars and such like but why "hate"? I don't watch car programs or cooking ones but I don't hate hairy bikers... Were you aggressed by a Ferrari while a child or something?
Jon Stewart - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Why do you hate him?

> > just for the fact that he makes money by justifying the mild bigotry of those who refuse to let go of the attitudes they were brought up with and feel they have a right to keep in spite of the insidious damage they do throughout society.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> Better keep the well educated and liberal minded out of such matters

You don't sound like either in this last post!
Skol on 04 May 2014
In reply to John Rushby:

They should ask Django! :)
FactorXXX - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

just for the fact that he makes money by justifying the mild bigotry of those who refuse to let go of the attitudes they were brought up with and feel they have a right to keep in spite of the insidious damage they do throughout society.

Don't you think it's possible, that people can listen to Clarkson and people similar to him and realise that it's an act?
Do you really think, that the viewers of Top Gear and similar programs are bigots, albeit mild, because they have a quick smirk at some of the things said?
Do you really think that any of Clarkson's remarks have been harmful to society? If so, list them and detail what affects you think they have had.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> You might choose to consider that maybe it is you that is out of step.

"Out of step"? You're a bad as he is , so "I'm out of step", like on the parade ground - can't believe I'm reading such stuff on a climber's forum. If it was a forum for retired sergeant majors of defrocked head masters maybe, but are climbers really as stuck up as you lot sound? If you think he's a racist just stop watching "Need for Speed".
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> In the world of work, bruce...

Really? Must be a pretty twee world of work where you work.
Jon Stewart - on 04 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Don't you think it's possible, that people can listen to Clarkson and people similar to him and realise that it's an act?

Yes.

> Do you really think, that the viewers of Top Gear and similar programs are bigots, albeit mild, because they have a quick smirk at some of the things said?

Yes.

> Do you really think that any of Clarkson's remarks have been harmful to society? If so, list them and detail what affects you think they have had.

Not what I said. The argument is this:
- people hold bigoted views and always have done
- people feel resentful and put out by the changes in the law etc that have marginalised racism, sexism and homophobia and think it's all the work of the oppressive "PC lobby" and the sour-faced dykes at the Guardian
- Jeremy Clarkson comes on TV and makes mildly sexist, racist and homophobic jokes, and goes on about objecting to PC
- people with bigoted views feel justified in holding them, feel that some of the mainstream establishment is still "on their side"
- the changes in attitudes away from bigotry are slowed down

So it's not the actual comments by JC that do insidious damage, it's the attitudes that were there already. JC, by justifying them with his outrageous anti-PC views which he has for money, is just doing his bit to make sure people hang on to these attitudes.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> just for the fact that he makes money by justifying the mild bigotry of those who refuse to let go of the attitudes they were brought up with and feel they have a right to keep in spite of the insidious damage they do throughout society.

How do you know this, you don't watch "Come Motoring"? And even if you do from time to time when you want to change your sports 4x4 how do you know if he writes the scripts and/or is motivated as you pretend? Just ignore him, otherwise you look more like a witch-hunter or a lynch mobster than a civilized human being.
FactorXXX - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

So, people who laugh at remarks that could be construed as bigoted are automatically themselves bigots?
Sorry, that's complete and utter rubbish. It's perfectly possible to see/listen to something which is by definition bigoted, but by using your own intelligence, analyse it for what it is - a light hearted flippant remark on what is essentially an entertainment program.
For example, I'm Welsh. I've heard comments on mainstream TV which by your definition would be classed a racism/bigotry against the Welsh. Do I get all uppity about it? No, I realise that they're taking the mick and either laugh if it's funny or move on if it's clumsy.

By the way, some of Clarkson's 'Targets' aren't adverse to joining in the fun. Check out the footage of Louie Spence when he appeared on Top Gear...
Jon Stewart - on 05 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> So, people who laugh at remarks that could be construed as bigoted are automatically themselves bigots?

Not full-on, massive bigots, just probably slightly bigoted. If they weren't they'd just think "this is shit".

> Sorry, that's complete and utter rubbish. It's perfectly possible to see/listen to something which is by definition bigoted, but by using your own intelligence, analyse it for what it is - a light hearted flippant remark on what is essentially an entertainment program.

I don't think the "it's just a joke" defense is particularly helpful. Could be applied to any level bigotry far in excess of JCs.

> For example, I'm Welsh. I've heard comments on mainstream TV which by your definition...

my definition?

> By the way, some of Clarkson's 'Targets' aren't adverse to joining in the fun. Check out the footage of Louie Spence when he appeared on Top Gear...

So what.
andy - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Really? Must be a pretty twee world of work where you work.

No, it's just like pretty much any company where racist, homophobic or other discriminatory language isn't tolerated because employees shouldn't have to listen to it. Why is that "twee"? Do you think "real" workplaces are where folk can go and spout offensive language and anyone who might be upset by it should just "get over it - it's just a word/joke"?
needvert on 05 May 2014
Not counting quoting others, approximately 7% of the posts in this thread have used the words 'nigga' or 'nigger', or plurals of.

...To which I'm entirely neutral to. Back in the day when I was a small child, mum says people would look at her because of her skin color, at the time it was rather uncommon in that region. She wasn't african american, but she was a 'darkie'.

We were very rarely subjected to any preferential treatment that I was ever aware of due to race. But, on the one occasion I remember where it made a difference to our lives, it was by a school administrator far too smart to use racial slurs.

That's the sort of racism I hate. I have never much cared what words people use, it's their actions that matter, their intent, their feelings.
ads.ukclimbing.com
stroppygob - on 05 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> For example, I'm Welsh. I've heard comments on mainstream TV which by your definition would be classed a racism/bigotry against the Welsh. Do I get all uppity about it? No, I realise that they're taking the mick and either laugh if it's funny or move on if it's clumsy.

You should sue!!

> A man who was fined for racially aggravated disorderly behaviour after calling Welsh people “sheep s******s” has claimed he was using the term to describe people who live in the countryside.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/man-fined-for-racism-after-calling-welsh-people-sheep-ss-...
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:

In a "work place" there are all sorts of people, the last place I worked in England was a building site, I hope you never go near one you'd be mental meltdown within 5 seconds! I wonder what world some of you people live in.
andy - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Well there's no answer to that, is there, Bruce? It's somehow a mark of masculinity and mental toughness to not give a shit about racist, homophobic or sexist language in the workplace?

I'm fully aware there's "all sorts of people" in the workplace - it's just that companies have policies that stop them bringing some of their attitudes and behaviour to work. I live in Yorkshire, the land of the casual racist, so I hear some pretty unacceptable stuff. Sometimes I have the bottle to challenge it, sometimes I wince and let it go (and feel bad for not challenging it aftewards).

Presumably when you were on the building site and they were having a laugh about "coons" and "queers", before shouting at some "bird" to "get her tits out" you just laughed along with it? Rock hard, Brucie, rock hard - that must've taken some balls, eh?
tlm - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

It's a world where public bodies have a legal requirement "to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups"

So most councils, universities, schools and the BBC etc would not tolerate racist language from an employee. It's pretty normal and ordinary. If people want the freedom to use racist language, they can do it in their own time, or can work somewhere that doesn't have this legal obligation:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/34/section/2
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> I hear some pretty unacceptable stuff. Sometimes I have the bottle to challenge it,

Challenging it is what you should do, if you care, running of HR, if you could find one, is just so flabby... have the courage of your convictions in reality, not just on a forum.

> Presumably when you were on the building site and they were having a laugh about "coons" and "queers", before shouting at some "bird" to "get her tits out" you just laughed along with it? Rock hard, Brucie, rock hard - that must've taken some balls, eh?

Frankly you come across as a pretty twisted, bitter person... your command of offensive language shows a mind that is almost obsessional, not to mention that you attribute it to me, a person who you have never heard use such language nor post it on internet. Is this what you consider to be a normal, acceptable way of arguing?

PS.

> not give a shit about racist, homophobic or sexist language in the workplace?

Why bring the latter two issues into this discussion? Do you automatically assume that Clarkson is guilty of these attitudes too? Do you assume they all go together? I don't. For example the climbing club that was gender segregated does this imply that they are also racist and homophobic? You're mixing everything up here.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
Congratulations, a brilliant apology for "thought crime"!

And only 30 years after 1984.
Post edited at 10:03
stroppygob - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Did you not know that it's your job to change the world Bruce, one building site at a time?

You should have held an encounter session on that building site and got everyone to share and emote their feelings. After some finger painting, a few non-competitive games, and a group hugging, you could have led the brickies, chippies, and plumbers in a chanted version of "Ebony and Ivory".
Post edited at 10:20
Rob Exile Ward on 05 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

I was hitch hiking often with lorry drivers from the age of 16. My first job was on a building site; my second on Liverpool docks; my 3rd as a market trader. I came into contact with just about as much racist and sexist talk as it's possible to do. By the age of 16 I had worked out how to let people know that I didn't agree with the sort of 'jokes' that were commonplace - jokes about queers, pakis, nig nogs, bitches and all the rest of it. Never fell out with anyone over it (well, just once), but I never went along with it either.

Bruce, you're making a fool of yourself slagging off Andy. He's pretty well known as a matter of fact, and anyone who knows him (and there's a lot of us on here) know that your descriptions of him - 'bitter and twisted' - are so far off the mark that they make your judgement more suspect than ever.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Challenging it is what you should do, if you care, running of HR, if you could find one, is just so flabby...

So he should have got up at that dinner and, what?, punched the speaker?

> Do you automatically assume that Clarkson is guilty of these attitudes too? Do you assume they all go together?

Have you ever watched Top Gear?
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I was hitch hiking often with lorry drivers from the age of 16. My first job was on a building site; my second on Liverpool docks; my 3rd as a market trader. I came into contact with just about as much racist and sexist talk as it's possible to do. By the age of 16 I had worked out how to let people know that I didn't agree with the sort of 'jokes' that were commonplace - jokes about queers, pakis, nig nogs, bitches and all the rest of it. Never fell out with anyone over it (well, just once), but I never went along with it either.

That's pretty much my experience. I can't help it's more effective than the "raising it with HR" route. It's hard to believe that anyone's attitudes have been changed by that; it's more likely IMO just to breed simmering resentment.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Unknown Climber:

> (In reply to Trangia)
>
>
> I was just reciting a rhyme about Jeremy Clarkson and accidentally used the word c**t.
> Apologies for any offence caused.

I assume you're apologing to c**ts for comparing them to J****y C******n.
Post edited at 11:13
r0x0r.wolfo - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:

> In the world of work, bruce, what do you think is the appropriate response? Have a laugh with the rest of them? Smack him in the gob? Or pass it to the department whose job it is to ensure employees can go to work and not have to listen to that sort of shit?

> As Rob says, it's you who is out of step if you think that sort of thing should go unchallenged.

Or leak it to the daily mirror.
Tom V - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:

I live in Yorkshire too, and am wondering what made you single out this particular county as being "the land of the casual racist" rather than, say, Cornwall or Northumberland?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 05 May 2014
In reply to needvert:
> Not counting quoting others, approximately 7% of the posts in this thread have used the words 'nigga' or 'nigger', or plurals of.

> ...To which I'm entirely neutral to. Back in the day when I was a small child, mum says people would look at her because of her skin color, at the time it was rather uncommon in that region. She wasn't african american, but she was a 'darkie'.

> We were very rarely subjected to any preferential treatment that I was ever aware of due to race. But, on the one occasion I remember where it made a difference to our lives, it was by a school administrator far too smart to use racial slurs.

> That's the sort of racism I hate. I have never much cared what words people use, it's their actions that matter, their intent, their feelings.

Basically this. I don't think wasting our time with a mumbled word Clarkson said off air is the best way. It's just gossip collumn stuff, trivialises the issue. It's context and intent that matters. I'd rather nail someone's hat on for being racist than using the wrong words. Although I do think it's good manners to keep up to date with some of the correct terminology.
Post edited at 11:49
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You don't sound like either in this last post!


Well if we are playing educational Top Trumps I wonder at your chances - 9 As O level, 5 A band 1s SEC Highers BSc MB ChB FRCP CCT Cardiology and GIM
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> your descriptions of him - 'bitter and twisted' - are so far off the mark that they make your judgement more suspect than ever.

Only going on what he said to me... read it again:

> Well there's no answer to that, is there, Bruce? It's somehow a mark of masculinity and mental toughness to not give a shit about racist, homophobic or sexist language in the workplace?

> I'm fully aware there's "all sorts of people" in the workplace - it's just that companies have policies that stop them bringing some of their attitudes and behaviour to work. I live in Yorkshire, the land of the casual racist, so I hear some pretty unacceptable stuff. Sometimes I have the bottle to challenge it, sometimes I wince and let it go (and feel bad for not challenging it aftewards).

> Presumably when you were on the building site and they were having a laugh about "coons" and "queers", before shouting at some "bird" to "get her tits out" you just laughed along with it? Rock hard, Brucie, rock hard - that must've taken some balls, eh?

Calling me "Brucie" being the final straw.

Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> So he should have got up at that dinner and, what?, punched the speaker?

are there no intermediaries between doing nothing and physical violence?

What dinner BTW?

> Have you ever watched Top Gear?

Very rarely, I did watch one once where they were driving 4x4s trough the S American jungle, they ended up deliberately tipping one down an enormous scree slope on the coast for reasons that were not evident. Clearly rather berkish but then they are making a program for car fanatics. In the emission I watched there were no references to "queers", "dykes", "coons" or any of the other vibrant vocabulary exhibited on this thread.

Anyway on most programs even chatty ones the adlibs aren't really adlibs there is a script so unless he writes his own material shouldn't it be the script writer in the pillory rather than the person who read it?
Post edited at 12:21
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

Well I can trump you on the O levels, I have 10 but I don't know what the others are equivalent to, it was just A levels and degrees in my time, but anyway are your really saying that being "well educated" is about bits of paper, especially in the context we are discussing here?
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Well I can trump you on the O levels, I have 10 but I don't know what the others are equivalent to, it was just A levels and degrees in my time, but anyway are your really saying that being "well educated" is about bits of paper, especially in the context we are discussing here?

no, and I'm not accustomed to bandying qualifications around on the WWW, but I do take exception to the accusation of being lacking in eduction and a liberal mind. Many bad things have been said of me (many of them probably accurate) over the years but I 'm pretty confident that anyone who knows me, friend or foe, would not suggest either of the things you came up with
FactorXXX - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Not full-on, massive bigots, just probably slightly bigoted. If they weren't they'd just think "this is shit".

Again, utter rubbish. As I said earlier, it's perfectly possible to find something funny and not necessarily agree with the content. It's also possible to know, that the person delivering the content, isn't bigoted either.


I don't think the "it's just a joke" defense is particularly helpful. Could be applied to any level bigotry far in excess of JCs.

Would you want to get rid of every single similar 'joke' and in every single category of entertainment? If so, there wouldn't be much left!


my definition?

Yes, your definition. I'm pretty sure that you've got a definition of what defines bigotry and perhaps more importantly, what is acceptable. You appear to have zero tolerance, I'm a bit more pragmatic about it.


So what.

That, maybe, Clarkson isn't the bigot that you want to so readily label him with and that he is instead in 'entertainment' mode and that some of his 'targets' recognise this and don't mind joining in the fun.

Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

Again I'm "judging" the posts on here, I don't know if they correspond to your real nature... they are not posts of a "liberal" in the political sense, they lack the essential element, tolerance. As for "educated", in the sense of the term "well educated" in the humanist line that is said to permeate the British sense of the term it is not about technical competence or abilities it is also about being tolerant and reasonable and avoiding excessive judgements. Does calling people bigots for little apparent reason and Clarkson a "scumbag" fit in with these notions?

Genuine question for you and others, why do, you "hate" him so? He's not exactly my cup of tea but to actually hate him? Doesn't seem very liberal or well educated to me.
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

tolerance does not have to include an acceptance of the propagation of bigotry on prime time television. Does the BNP or fundamentalist Islam have a right to a voice to preach its poison in public? Absolutely, we're a free and tolerant society. Is it appropriate for a presenter employed by our public service broadcaster to spew a constant low level stream of racism, sexism and homophobia to an audience of primarily white young and middle-aged men on prime time television thereby normalising these attitudes? Absolutely not.
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> tolerance does not have to include an acceptance of the propagation of bigotry on prime time television. Does the BNP or fundamentalist Islam have a right to a voice to preach its poison in public?

Bruce is rather random with his 'tolerance'; many times over the years here on UKC for instance, he has argued that we shouldn't tolerate women wearing headscarves as a sign of their faith for example. Here he seems to be suggesting that we should be tolerant of people who want to use racist language.

Jon Stewart - on 05 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

You didn't seem to have read/understand this:

> The argument is this:
- people hold bigoted views and always have done
- people feel resentful and put out by the changes in the law etc that have marginalised racism, sexism and homophobia and think it's all the work of the oppressive "PC lobby" and the sour-faced dykes at the Guardian
- Jeremy Clarkson comes on TV and makes mildly sexist, racist and homophobic jokes, and goes on about objecting to PC
- people with bigoted views feel justified in holding them, feel that some of the mainstream establishment is still "on their side"
- the changes in attitudes away from bigotry are slowed down

> So it's not the actual comments by JC that do insidious damage, it's the attitudes that were there already. JC, by justifying them with his outrageous anti-PC views which he has for money, is just doing his bit to make sure people hang on to these attitudes.

And you haven't guessed right about what you think I find offensive and don't. There are clues in the above, but to spell it out, if someone's making fun of a nation of people and it's crap and not funny, then it's crap and not funny. Same goes for any other group about whom there aren't embedded attitudes in society that are intimately connected with the serious oppression of those people. On the other hand, if someone's making a joke which relies on the audience laughing just because it uses a "naughty" racist term that's been banned by the oppressive PC brigade, or just because someone's gay or accused of being gay, or because of some tedious assumption about women be bad at something, then it fits into the argument above. It goes from being crap and not funny to justifying bigoted attitudes.

"Haha slope" "Haha gypsies" "Haha lesbians". F^ck off!

On the question of whether JC is really bigoted, or just makes up his outrageous anti-PC views for money, as I've said a couple of times I suspect it's more of the latter. I'd say an 80-20 mix if I had to guess. Does that make it better or worse?
Simon4 - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
As you are so keen on the word "bigot", it might interest you to actually know what it means. From the Chambers English dictionary :

"Bigot : (n) one blindly or obstinately devoted to a particular creed or party, bigotry (n) blind or excessive zeal"

If you wish to see a bigot, look in the mirror.

To : (all) magnificent thread, magnificent in the sense of utterly pointless and about very little.
Post edited at 14:10
Jon Stewart - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Simon4:

Oh god, the dictionary definition. It doesn't help whatever case you're trying to make.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Top Gear is watched by 350 million people in 100 countries, 40% of the audience is female. It would not attract anything like that number of viewers if it was not fairly in tune with mainstream views of what is funny.
Choss on 05 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

The guys a mega rich tax dodger, Dresses Like an old man, a bigot, and is Bessie Mates with David Camoron. Despite peoples Protestations that he is only playing a character, Those Traits Mean he can be filed Under bell end.
Jon Stewart - on 05 May 2014
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Top Gear is watched by 350 million people in 100 countries, 40% of the audience is female. It would not attract anything like that number of viewers if it was not fairly in tune with mainstream views of what is funny.

True. And it's not as if it's a stream of offensive shite, if it was it wouldn't be on TV, it's just that JC makes the occasional "cheeky" racial slur and "edgy" mildly homophobic remark (sometimes off Top Gear, but also for money) and that appeals to a lot of the audience (else he wouldn't do it). This is all true. I'm not sure if you're providing justification?
FactorXXX - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You didn't seem to have read/understand this:

...and you don't seem to understand what I'm trying to say.

I totally agree that some of Clarkson's comments by definition are bigoted and perhaps offensive to some.
My point is, so what?
Everyone knows it's a show and that's his 'style'. If you are likely to be offended by his material, then don't watch him!
As for your main point, so what if it's intended to make the audience laugh? I laugh at some of his comments, but don't personally agree with the actual direct meaning of them.
I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of stand up is by far worse and I'm pretty sure that the audience doesn't believe the comedian is bigoted or that they themselves are also bigoted. I hazard a guess, that the members of the audience are able to compartmentalise their feelings and can differentiate between humour and real bigotry.
Obviously, there is real bigotry in all aspects of life, but I don't think stopping comments from the likes of Clarkson will make any difference whatsoever.
Additionally, do you really think Clarkson is contributing to the continuation of bigotry in this country and possibly further afield?
Stone Idol - on 05 May 2014
In reply to broken spectre:

So you quite like Jeremy then? Come on - don't hold back!
r0x0r.wolfo - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> tolerance does not have to include an acceptance of the propagation of bigotry on prime time television. Does the BNP or fundamentalist Islam have a right to a voice to preach its poison in public? Absolutely, we're a free and tolerant society. Is it appropriate for a presenter employed by our public service broadcaster to spew a constant low level stream of racism, sexism and homophobia to an audience of primarily white young and middle-aged men on prime time television thereby normalising these attitudes? Absolutely not.

What the f*ck?
Choss on 05 May 2014
In reply to Stone Idol:

> So you quite like Jeremy then? Come on - don't hold back!

i wouldnt if he was on fire.
Jon Stewart - on 05 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:
> My point is, so what?

And my answer is, because for those people who already hold bigoted views (and no I don't think that's anyone who watches Top Gear, just a % of), making offensive jokes on TV and everyone laughing along endorses and justifies those views.

> Everyone knows it's a show and that's his 'style'. If you are likely to be offended by his material, then don't watch him!

This isn't an argument. I've explained why it's not a few times now. Making "ho ho, the PC lobby won't like this" jokes as part of mainstream entertainment helps keep bigoted attitudes alive. The issue isn't about me being offended by a crap pseudo-controversial gag.

> As for your main point, so what if it's intended to make the audience laugh?
> I'm pretty certain that the vast majority of stand up is by far worse and I'm pretty sure that the audience doesn't believe the comedian is bigoted or that they themselves are also bigoted. I hazard a guess, that the members of the audience are able to compartmentalise their feelings and can differentiate between humour and real bigotry.

I completely disagree. Every time I hear a homophobic or racist joke, I just think "you're a cock, f^ck off". I don't compartmentalise it and say "oh it's OK, homophobia and racism are fine when it's just a joke" because that isn't how I feel about it. I think what we laugh it is a pretty good barometer of our outlook on the world. I laugh at Stewart Lee and Charlie Brooker, because they reflect my outlook on the world.

I think this is quite an interesting point of discussion, what makes us laugh and whether that says something about us. I think it does.

> Obviously, there is real bigotry in all aspects of life, but I don't think stopping comments from the likes of Clarkson will make any difference whatsoever.

> Additionally, do you really think Clarkson is contributing to the continuation of bigotry in this country and possibly further afield?


Impossible to say either way. It's not a big deal in terms of actual outcomes. Remember that my view on the actual "nigger" thing was that it was just vindictive towards JC, not that he was a racist and should be sacked. I just happen to hate JC because he makes money by endorsing bigoted views. It's more symbolic than anything. Culture has changed a lot over my lifetime, and bigotry has been pushed further and further to the margins. Having popular TV comedy pull these attitudes back into the mainstream under a guise of "it's only a joke" and "it's fun and cheeky to be anti-PC" is a force in a completely retarded direction.
Post edited at 16:10
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> What the f*ck?

Would it help if I re-wrote it words of one syllable? What reading age should I be aiming for?
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Simon4:

> To : (all) magnificent thread, magnificent in the sense of utterly pointless and about very little.

This thread must put Simon4 in a difficult position. One the one hand, it's a prime opportunity to bash the BBC! But that would mean risking the freedom to throw around the odd "n****r" when the mood struck one.

Tricky call, tricky call! Like this fellow-traveller, stroppy, quoting the dictionary provides a handy recourse when the arguments get a big subtle.

Jon - you are doing a sterling job of tackling the fools and tin-eared dunderheads. I admire your patience, but alas I don't quite share it.
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
thank you!

I haven't read the whole lengthy thread nor am I aware of the ethnicity, sex or sexuality of any but a handful of contributors.

I was simply making the point that this is not an issue of free speech or of Clarkson's right to be tolerated as far as I am concerned. It is about the negative effects on society of somebody in his position promoting bigotry and intolerance and the inappropriateness of him being allowed to camouflage it in a popular BBC programme


edit - if this seems somewhat apropos of nothing, it answers a post by wolfo which has subsequently been deleted :-)
Post edited at 17:40
andy - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Tom V:

> I live in Yorkshire too, and am wondering what made you single out this particular county as being "the land of the casual racist" rather than, say, Cornwall or Northumberland?

No reason other than I've not been to Cornwall for about 40 years and (apart from a weird evening in Wooller) I've not spent a lot of time in Northumberland. I hear a lot of people blaming "them" (meaning the Asian community) for everything that's wrong, particularly with Bradford - and just assuming that everyone will agree, so feeling free to espouse their views to anyone who happens to be white.

And Bruce/others - my mate did challenge the bloke who used the word - he chose to say "if you do it again, here's what'll happen" - but he didn't "run off to HR" at all.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> thank you!

> I haven't read the whole lengthy thread nor am I aware of the ethnicity, sex or sexuality of any but a handful of contributors.

> I was simply making the point that this is not an issue of free speech or of Clarkson's right to be tolerated as far as I am concerned. It is about the negative effects on society of somebody in his position promoting bigotry and intolerance and the inappropriateness of him being allowed to camouflage it in a popular BBC programme

I just don't think top gear is a manifold of racism, sexism etc. P.S I've just realised that clip came from 2012, which doesn't mean a whole lot but it's not something I realised before. If I was to typicalise Top Gear it would consist of:

1) Celebrity race around a track and interview with said celebrity
2) Ridiculous race/Challenge either involving cars bought for a fiver or quarter of a million supercars.
3) Bizarre and uninformative review of a car (mocking the complaints that they aren't a sensible car program)
4) Destruction of a Caravan

I don't think Clarkson is racist, he's unfortunately right-wing and tries to dabble in politics. The picking on a group (not talking about this incident, as it's two years old, not actually a racist joke, etc. etc.) is something of a standard in comedy as Stuart Lee deals with here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZB6q_RLHRU

He's picked on Mexicans, Truck drivers, the Welsh, drivers of certain kinds of cars. I've never heard him do a black joke, and I don't count this as one. If anything he should have been sacked for the 'slope' comment i've just heard about if anything. But that comment most likely had no effect here, because no one actually knows what it means (well I do now).
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I'll never get out of this thread!

> he has argued that we shouldn't tolerate women wearing headscarves as a sign of their faith for example.

For the nth time, the problem is about women being forced to cover themselves by men, often not just a scarf but from head to foot that is the problem, which is why many countries have laws against it... Like other apologists for fanaticism you try, rather feebly, to invert the whole issue. Maybe you consider that froggies are all racists for voting such laws and being against male domination of women?
andy - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Challenging it is what you should do, if you care, running of HR, if you could find one, is just so flabby... have the courage of your convictions in reality, not just on a forum.

He did, I have - not as much as I would like, as I said I sometimes wince and let it go. I've never threatened anyone with HR personally - I just say I'd rather they didn't use language like that.

> Frankly you come across as a pretty twisted, bitter person...

Do I? Ah, well, I guess if that's what you think, perhaps I am.

>...your command of offensive language shows a mind that is almost obsessional,

Yeah, but they're only words, Bruce.

>...not to mention that you attribute it to me, a person who you have never heard use such language nor post it on internet. Is this what you consider to be a normal, acceptable way of arguing?

I didn't attribute anything to you - read what I wrote. You were inferring that I'd faint away with shock if I worked on a building site. I asked what you did when people were saying these things that would "give me a mental meltdown" - given the thread is about racist/homphobic language, then I assume that you meant that you heard a lot of it (note - not that you were the source of it). So what did you do? Did you challenge it, or did you snigger along with the big lads?


Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:
Did I challenge what? Most of the others were Irish and we didn't talk much, we were working but the idea of going to see a "HR" person is so ridiculous, if people had a problem they would deal with it directly - and not by violence either. On the other hand if you are really so sensitive about what people say, and how they say it, and incapable of accepting that some people use language which you don't approve of then you would have a hard time in many workplaces, especially as people would soon twig on to you and wind you up deliberately. You'd suffer, not everyone is as patient as on ukc in the real world.
Post edited at 18:38
Enty - on 05 May 2014
In reply to all:

Had a top bank holiday guys? PMSL

E

;-)



Dominion - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> For the nth time, the problem is about women being forced to cover themselves by men, often not just a scarf but from head to foot that is the problem, which is why many countries have laws against it...

Have to agree with that. It is a pretty blatant contravention of human rights, hidden behind a veneer of religion or culture, both of which are male dominated. There is an underlying problem in this as well, in that the societies that enforce this tend to teach their males that any female who does not conform to this standard is a whore, and can be abused. And the "whore" is, of course, corrupted by the devil (or various versions thereof) and thus any male who rapes or otherwise sexually abuses one of these "whores" is almost certainly innocent, it's the "whore / witch" that is guilty, not the way that society teaches (or fails to teach) it's children...

Which is the true crime against humanity.


Rob Exile Ward on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

That's not been my experience, not been my experience at all.
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce I think you are living in 1970s world, perhaps you never came down from the brown microdots at Reading 72? The modern workplace has changed from those days and is governed by all sorts of legislation, anti discrimination and bullying policies and other bits of nannying you might be appalled by. Whilst there's obviously a big difference between a building site and an advertising agency, it is no longer generally considered acceptable to say racist, sexist and homophobic things at work or to act upon them and there is a genuine risk of disciplinary action for transgressors. There's a very long way to go, especially in some of the last bastions, but there is an inexorable drive to rid work places of this unpleasant nonsense
andy - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Ah. Silly me. I posted something about someone using the phrase "n... in the woodpile, if I'm allowed to use that phrase!", followed by smirks round the room. A mate of mine challenged it by mentioning HR. You then accused me of being over-sensitive and said that I'd have "a mental meltdown" if I ever worked on a building site. Now perhaps I'm extrapolating too much - but I sort of took that to suggest that on said building site I'd hear things that would cause me to "melt down" - and as the subject of the thread is racist (and has extended to homophobic) language, I (perhaps wrongly) assume that I'd hear racist, or homophobic language, which would cause my delicate ears to explode.

But - no! You all worked in monastic silence - so what would have caused me a "mental meltdown" then, Bruce - if you never heard anything that would offend my delicate sensibilities?
Paul Atkinson - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Enty:

> Had a top bank holiday guys? PMSL

> E

> ;-)

I got out for my first proper outing on my new bike and it was fab :-)
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Did I challenge what? Most of the others were Irish and we didn't talk much, we were working but the idea of going to see a "HR" person is so ridiculous,

Well, in the modern workplace (iirc you're retired, right?) it would be considered perfectly professional and responsible to go to HR if one of your colleagues was using racist language. That's not necessarily cowardice, simply the way things are done.


> On the other hand if you are really so sensitive about what people say, and how they say it, and incapable of accepting that some people use language which you don't approve of then you would have a hard time in many workplaces,

Erm, we've already agreed that using the n-word has been considered rude, offensive and racist behaviour since the 1970s. Some people might be rude, offensive and racist at work and if they are they should be disciplined or sacked, or at the very least given a good talking-to. I cannot possibly see why you'd struggle with this concept.

I think the world has changed a bit since your day Brucie.



Tom V - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:

So you don't consider your comment about Yorkshire being "the land of the casual racist " at all bigoted and are quite happy to apply this slur to the people of, say, Embsay?
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Dominion:

Just to check, is rant directed against this any kind of religious covering, or only the full-face numbers?
tlm - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I'll never get out of this thread!

> For the nth time, the problem is about women being forced to cover themselves by men, often not just a scarf but from head to foot that is the problem, which is why many countries have laws against it...

Countries have laws about men forcing women to cover themselves? So the women still have the choice to cover themselves if they are choosing it for themselves, and that is still within the law? Or they are forced to uncover themselves by the men making the laws?
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Tom V:

> So you don't consider your comment about Yorkshire being "the land of the casual racist " at all bigoted and are quite happy to apply this slur to the people of, say, Embsay?

Yeah, it's an off comment. A lot of the kids I was at school with (in Yorkshire) are hardcore EDF supporters. Nothing casual about that at all.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to andy:

But you would hear racist homophobic and, probably, sexist language, you'd hear it anywhere, even in the middle of Antarctica. Like many on this thread you are obsessed by such things... or at least the persona you exhibit on this forum is, maybe in reality you're quite different. I hope so for your sake.
Tom V - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

And no other county suffers from this blight?
andy - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Oh ffs - that's what the thread's about. On a thread about tubeless tyres I guess I'm obsessed by that as well then.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I think the world has changed a bit since your day Brucie.

I still live in the world... Do you see many HR people on building sites?

Come back to reality, in the case in question, the bloke didn't actually say what he's accused of, it wasn't broadcast, it wasn't used against a work colleague or as an insult - there's a utube clip that was "leaked" by one of his well-wishers, it's linked above, so even if the office world in Britain is that different from what I knew/know in France it wouldn't be that relevant.
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I still live in the world... Do you see many HR people on building sites?

I've never worked on one, so I have no idea if casual racism is acceptable there or not.




Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

In France, it is illegal to wear any externally visible religious symbols, which includes headscarves in schools. A law cannot judge motives, only concrete tangible things, so it simply means no headscarves in state schools. Religious people can still set up their own private religious schools though, that's a different issue. The problem was solved more or less overnight.

A second law bans the wearing of totally covering robes in public places, and again has not led to great difficulties. The problem is how to fight against male domination of women and is approved by the great majority of people in France, men and women. Otherwise France isn't really that advanced in terms of sexual equality, very few men stop work to bring up children, there is a constant battle to force political parties to put up equal numbers of male and female candidates and although gender equality at work is a legal obligation it is far from a reality.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I've never worked on one, so I have no idea if casual racism is acceptable there or not.

Perhaps you should try one day?
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The problem was solved more or less overnight.

Bruce, if you believe a woman wearing a headscarf in the workplace is a "problem" then you are in fact deeply illiberal.

>The problem is how to fight against male domination of women and is approved by the great majority of people in France, men and women.

Well, just because a lot of people approve of it, doesn't make it right.

Of course, what about those women who want to cover up, and are oppressed by those French men who made the laws?
tlm - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> In France, it is illegal to wear any externally visible religious symbols,

> A second law bans the wearing of totally covering robes in public places,

Hmmm....

So in France, 73.8% of politicians are men. The women still don't get to choose what they can or can't wear, but instead are told what is acceptable by a different bunch of men.
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> told what is acceptable by a different bunch of men.

They are Brucie's bunch, that's the difference.

Anyhow, none of the women I know who cover their hair are forced into it by men - they are quite capable of choosing for themselves. Unimaginable, eh?!
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

We know in France you get told by the state what you can and can't wear (well OK, lets be clear - on the whole it is Arab and black working class women getting told), but is it not the norm in workplaces (public or private sectors) to require that employees refrain from using racist epithets?
Dominion - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

By the way, I think the "slope" comment is far more of a problem, I feel, than Clarkson automatically repeating a rhyme that probably had absolutely no meaning to him when he was a child.

Most people in the UK wouldn't have even been aware that "slope" was a racial slur until this "Eeny Meeny" controversy started.

So, where did "slope" come from? From himself, or from some researcher feeding it to him, and telling him to use it, no one knows what it means?
Dominion - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

It's more about the people who shoot female school children because they want to have an education - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Yousafzai - and women getting raped in India because they are on a bus - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Delhi_gang_rape

The sort of social mores that say it's OK to behave in that sort of way to women.
Goucho on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Bruce, if you believe a woman wearing a headscarf in the workplace is a "problem" then you are in fact deeply illiberal.

> >The problem is how to fight against male domination of women and is approved by the great majority of people in France, men and women.

> Well, just because a lot of people approve of it, doesn't make it right.

> Of course, what about those women who want to cover up, and are oppressed by those French men who made the laws?

France is a secular state, and those are the laws. If people are uncomfortable with those laws, and feel that they are preventing them from following the religious dictum's they wish to abide by, then there is a very obvious alternative!

As Bruce and I live in France, we may just have slightly more 'real world' knowledge of this, than those who simply read about it!
Goucho on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> They are Brucie's bunch, that's the difference.

> Anyhow, none of the women I know who cover their hair are forced into it by men - they are quite capable of choosing for themselves. Unimaginable, eh?!

So you don't think that generations of 'social and religious' conditioning might have some impact here??

seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> France is a secular state, and those are the laws. If people are uncomfortable with those laws, and feel that they are preventing them from following the religious dictum's they wish to abide by, then there is a very obvious alternative!

Yup - to protest against it using anything up to and including civil disobedience... I believe they've a long and good tradition of that sort of thing in France. Or did you mean leave the country, because a devout Muslim can't be French, right?

seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> So you don't think that generations of 'social and religious' conditioning might have some impact here??

Sometimes yes but plenty of times no. This is from real world experience of talking to plenty of British Muslim women.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Bruce, if you believe a woman wearing a headscarf in the workplace is a "problem" then you are in fact deeply illiberal.

Not the workplace, in the National Education System. France is a secular Republic, religion is tolerated but it is a personal affair, there is no place for it in the state education system, no RI, hymns or prayers, this is considered to be a private affair only. Seems reasonable to me.

Apart from that there is more to the headscarf issue than you seem to want to consider, it is all related to the swing towards extremism, or at least a conservative, male dominated interpretation of islam which regards women as of lower value than men in several respects and so runs against the constitution of the Republic. You may approve of male domination of the larger half of the population, in France you would be considered a bit lie J Clarkson is on this thread, an archaic relic not a role model... At least Clarkson has one other in his camp :-)
In reply to Goucho:

> So you don't think that generations of 'social and religious' conditioning might have some impact here??

We've all been conditioned into something haven't we. Do you deny an individual's free choice on that basis?
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Anyhow, none of the women I know who cover their hair are forced into it by men - they are quite capable of choosing for themselves. Unimaginable, eh?!

But that's what all machos have always said, they said it to the suffragettes, women knew their place, they didn't want equality or the vote. There's nothing new in all this.
Enty - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Paul Atkinson:

> I got out for my first proper outing on my new bike and it was fab :-)

I did 110 miles today......following my group as Director Sport if in the van. Gutted.

E
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> but is it not the norm in workplaces (public or private sectors) to require that employees refrain from using racist epithets?

There are even stricter laws on the subject in France than Britain as it happens. Concerning your warped interpretation of the head scarf/burqua question it revolves around a conception of the laicité which is enshrined in the French Constitution, itself product of the Revolution of 1789. It hasn't just dropped out of the sky. Liberté, Egalité, Fratenité are not just spin, and they are sometimes contradictory. Freedom of conscience, of religion, are guaranteed, but only to the extent that they run into the notion of other constraints, equlaité for example.

Clearly a religion that constrains a woman to cover herself from head to foot, hiding even her face, cannot be tolerated in a Republic that guarantees equality. Saying it is their choice in the context of a repressive environment which makes non-observance very hard is dishonest. In the privacy of their home it is difficult to legislate but in public places a person's face should normally be visible, no matter what the imam or other religious leader (all men, you'll notice) may say. The duty of the Republic is to guarantee all its inhabitants at least a minimum of the conditions necessary to live a normal modern life.

If you can insist of the "right" of women to choose inferiority how can you deny them the "right" to choose excision? And I'm sure even you wouldn't do that.

Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> on the whole it is Arab and black working class women getting told

Hardly working class as they can't work either, their men, sorry religion, won't let them.
Enty - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Hardly working class as they can't work either, their men, sorry religion, won't let them.

You still here lol

E
stroppygob - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:
Why is no one calling for the person who leaked this outrageous mumbled un-broadcast possibly racist word to the press, and thereby caused the middle class guilt brigade to suffer such a ferocious outbreak of hand-wringing, to be brought to justice?

After all if it wasn't for this sly nasty "expose", no one would have suffered.
Post edited at 22:13
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

blah blah - we know all this, we've discussed the headscarf ban a million times before, but what about the racist epithets and French law/employment practices? You seem to be suggesting above that black people just need to put up with people using the n-word around them at work, but as others have tried to explain in most work places now in the UK there are rules against racism. What's the situation in France? If it is stricter, why are do we read about young French ethnic minority people moving to London to set up businesses for instance?
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

As I said above many women said the same at the time of the battle for the vote for women. Are you saying that the suffragettes were wrong for pushing through anyway, of going against these conservative women?

The fight for equality was long and difficult and is far from being over and like all social gains it is continually challenged by the forces of reaction, often religious like at present. Do you really think it's time to give in and slide back towards the situation of a century ago? Because that's what the loss of individual identity in public implies, a person who has no visible identity has only an incomplete existence.

I find it pretty weird if you do
tlm - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

How many muslim women did you hear express an opinion about this then, in order to form your views?

What is the difference between telling women that they must wear a headscarf, or that they can't wear a headscarf?
tlm - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> As I said above many women said the same at the time of the battle for the vote for women. Are you saying that the suffragettes were wrong for pushing through anyway, of going against these conservative women?

That was actually women expressing their own opinions, rather than men telling them what they could or couldn't do, one way or another.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> If it is stricter, why are do we read about young French ethnic minority people moving to London to set up businesses for instance?

You really don't know much about France, do you? There are rules in France and laws which also concern anti-Semitism but that doesn't prevent racism existing, it may even make it worse, but that's another debate, but the reason French people move to Britain isn't because of racism either in Britain or France it's economic - France has > 11% unemployment and Britain around 6%, take away the incompressible 3 or 4% that most economists claim the difference is enormous. The other is the difficulty of setting up a business in France, the admin problems, the high level and complexity of taxation.. It's not just "ethnic minorities" that are leaving France.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> What is the difference between telling women that they must wear a headscarf, or that they can't wear a headscarf?

Can you really not see the difference yourself? Do you know what happens to women who resist in some areas?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Again, I'm well aware of French unemployment rates, and the numbers of all sorts of young French people setting up business in the UK - but you still haven't explained how France differs from the UK on the specific point of either laws against racism or employment practices where racist language would (or wouldn't?) be a disciplinary issue. It's interesting as you above were suggesting that you think someone reporting a colleague to HR is ridiculous, so I wasn't sure if that reflected your working experience in France, you seemed genuinely surprised that people in the UK could find such language offensive.
seankenny - on 05 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

As the American army once said: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
> Hmmm....

> So in France, 73.8% of politicians are men. The women still don't get to choose what they can or can't wear, but instead are told what is acceptable by a different bunch of men.

I think there are laws about being beaten too, is this an issue? Men telling Women they can't be beaten in their home? 'What if they want to be beaten?!'. That's what I say!
They have even started the attack on words like this thread shows.

Racism is not tolerated as a word in most schools/work places, how dare men tell other men and also women what they can and cannot say? Time for a riot I say. This lack of oppression is really infringing on my rights. Feminist revolution! We will fight for our right to be forced to wear clothing and be beaten! Can't wear what I want at school!? How very fucking dare they!? Millions are oppressed around the world 'you can't wear that, not school colours', it's an Orwellian society we live in!

I'll make the banners tlm, shall meet up outside Decathlon to protest.
Post edited at 01:39
FactorXXX - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I completely disagree. Every time I hear a homophobic or racist joke, I just think "you're a cock, f^ck off". I don't compartmentalise it and say "oh it's OK, homophobia and racism are fine when it's just a joke" because that isn't how I feel about it. I think what we laugh it is a pretty good barometer of our outlook on the world. I laugh at Stewart Lee and Charlie Brooker, because they reflect my outlook on the world.

I'm obviously different to you then, because I can very easily differentiate between offensive material in an entertainment environment as opposed to real life and judging by the number of people that enjoy similar forms of entertainment, I'm by far not the only one.
I assume that you don't watch the likes of Jimmy Carr and Jo Brand?
Would you like these and similar acts to be removed from our TV screens and perhaps all together?



Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> you seemed genuinely surprised that people in the UK could find such language offensive

Only in your twisted, dishonest head! When have I ever used such language? If you want details of the French legislation look it up on Wikipedia, it's similar to Britain and in offices in France are you really so Little Britain anti-Froggie that your think people spend their day insulting each other with racist terms? There are such terms in French, mostly issue from their own colonial periods so more anti-arab than anti black but you wouldn't be appreciated if you used them by most. On the other hand the FN is growing day by day, recently they did historically well at local elections, but the reasons for this can also be found in the reasons why the UKIP is growing.

There are plenty of news sources about France in English if you really want to learn about Britain's nearest and most historically related country. Open up your horizons a bit.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> As the American army once said: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Really now, what has this to do with the subject? There are a few muslim women who wear religious dress but do you think the majority do? Why not ask those that dress like the other people in the country they live in why they do this? You may also like to read a little about the origins of the discriminatory rules in islam that relegate women to a secondary situation, whether these rules were devised by men or women and how muslim women throughout the world fought for their freedom and equality, how for decades they were gaining ground and how of late they are losing it... in part due to apologists of sexism like yourself.

I went to Teheran in the 70s and the women there were dressed in modern clothes, now since the Islamic revolution they are forced to cover up... do you think that most of them like this, that they do it by choice? If you do then like Toby you should educate yourself a bit about what's going on in the world. We all have a choice, we can be for progress or against it and we cannot these days say we don't know what's going on.
Rob Exile Ward on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

' If you do then like Toby you should educate yourself a bit about what's going on in the world. '

We don't need to Bruce, we've got you to tell us.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> When have I ever used such language?

You haven't but you seemed very surprised that someone Andy knew (in his anecdote above) said they would take it up with the HR dept. in their company if a third party used such words. I've never worked in France, so am simply interested in whether or not similar things would happen there. A couple of French friends who have spent time in the UK say things like working culture and attitudes to racism are different - not necessarily better or worse - but different for obvious reasons.

As ever you seem to be more interested in throwing insults at me, so crack on if that's what passes your day.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I went to Teheran in the 70s

Perhaps you haven't noticed but French law doesn't extend to Tehran.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I don't have time to cope with all enemies of progress, too much for one man, you have to help a bit.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

My remarks are open, yours aren't... You're not telling me you don't know that these sort of laws exist throughout the EU? You're into your usual "prove it" trip.

My remark was about running off to the personnel department suggestion, if you dislike what someone says you take it up with them directly, not calling out for Mummy, and on a building site the idea is even more absurd.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Perhaps you haven't noticed but French law doesn't extend to Tehran.

Another silly post, what has my Teheran example got to do with French law? It's an example of how the struggle for women's rights in muslim countries is a continual fight, at the moment one they are losing as this example demonstrates... Or do you believe that Iranian women are also all volunteers for the cover up? If so your knowledge of Iran is as lamentable (real or feigned) as it is of France.
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> I went to Teheran in the 70s and the women there were dressed in modern clothes, now since the Islamic revolution they are forced to cover up... do you think that most of them like this, that they do it by choice? If you do then like Toby you should educate yourself a bit about what's going on in the world. We all have a choice, we can be for progress or against it and we cannot these days say we don't know what's going on.

I was in Tehran myself just a few years ago... You're not the only one who has a view of the world, Brucie.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> My remarks are open, yours aren't... You're not telling me you don't know that these sort of laws exist throughout the EU?

They don't everywhere by any means and even where there is law it doesn't mean they are enforced equally. In some countries there are still interminable arguments going on about what is a racist word or not.

> My remark was about running off to the personnel department suggestion, if you dislike what someone says you take it up with them directly, not calling out for Mummy,

Some companies have tried to introduce regulations to make them fair and safe employers for all - what's so bad about that? What happens if when you take it up with the person who is using the racist words they just tell you to eff off and mind our own business?

Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I'm obviously different to you then, because I can very easily differentiate between offensive material in an entertainment environment as opposed to real life and judging by the number of people that enjoy similar forms of entertainment, I'm by far not the only one.

It's not an either/or thing though. There's a sliding scale from "massive bigot" to "has mildly ignorant/racism/homophobic views but knows when to keep them quiet" to "would laugh at mildly bigoted humour but other than that does not express homophobic/racist etc attitudes " to "never displays such attitudes" to "campaigns vigorously against all aspects of bigotry". Everyone sits somewhere on that scale.

> I assume that you don't watch the likes of Jimmy Carr and Jo Brand?

Haven't seen Jo Brand in a long time, but Jimmy Carr's humour flirts with taboos other than racism or homophobia. It's subtle to put your finger on the difference, but when I hear a joke that has an underpinning attitude that I really dislike (e.g. where the joke is essentially "ha ha [stereotype of] lesbians) it's obvious to me. Jimmy Car and also Frankie Boyle play a slightly different game which is often about the taboo of laughing at something horrible for an individual. While it's easy to see why someone would find their humour offensive, it isn't because of the "ha ha I just used a racist word, isn't that naughty" or "ha ha he looks like a gay" humour of JC.

The fact that lots of people find his humour funny is probably because not much of it is offensive (although most of it is dreary and often right-wing), and it's very mild and schoolyard-like; also, a huge bulk of the population fall somewhere in the middle of the bigotry scale rather than at the extremes (like most distributions).

> Would you like these and similar acts to be removed from our TV screens and perhaps all together?

No. As I say, they're not offensive in the same way. I know a lot of people don't get why 'paki' is offensive but 'sheep shagger' is less so; or why people think it's wrong to laugh at someone because they're a 'queer' but less so if it's because they're a 'ginge'. I have tried to explain (above somewhere). Some attitudes are offensive, and when humour carries those attitudes - or in JC's case, just flirts with them for the approval of those who feel they're being repressed by the PC brigade (which can only be because they do hold those views) - I find it offensive.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

We were discussing a French law, that governs the actions of women in France. The situation in Tehran is neither here nor there. Indeed in Iran the state forces women to wear certain clothes, just like the French law is forcing women not to wear certain clothes - both deny agency to women.
tlm - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Can you really not see the difference yourself? Do you know what happens to women who resist in some areas?

I was interested in your views. I already know my own.
Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>

> Haven't seen Jo Brand in a long time, but Jimmy Carr's humour flirts with taboos other than racism or homophobia. It's subtle to put your finger on the difference, but when I hear a joke that has an underpinning attitude that I really dislike (e.g. where the joke is essentially "ha ha [stereotype of] lesbians) it's obvious to me. Jimmy Car and also Frankie Boyle play a slightly different game which is often about the taboo of laughing at something horrible for an individual. While it's easy to see why someone would find their humour offensive, it isn't because of the "ha ha I just used a racist word, isn't that naughty" or "ha ha he looks like a gay" humour of JC.

>
Really? Try this one :

My dad is one of the funniest people I know. He's the sort of man who can make you laugh just by reading out of a telephone directory...He's a spastic.
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

Is that Boyle? Not the kind of gag that would make me laugh. But if you look at the joke carefully, as well as the JC-esque "I've just said spastic, isn't that un-PC", what's supposed to be funny is the premise of laughing because the dad is a "spastic". While it's pseudo-controversial like JC there's a different tone - Boyle (or Carr?) isn't expecting the audience to laugh just at the word "spastic", but to laugh at the idea that someone is funny because they're a "spastic". That's meant to be funny because it's such an offensive idea - so offensive it's funny.

The joke has a little bit more to it than "ha ha spastic" in the context of someone's dad having cerebral palsy, which is the level that JC operates at (although he wouldn't go that far). But all the same it shares the "look at me I've just said spastic" features of a JC joke.
Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Is that Boyle? Not the kind of gag that would make me laugh. But if you look at the joke carefully, as well as the JC-esque "I've just said spastic, isn't that un-PC", what's supposed to be funny is the premise of laughing because the dad is a "spastic". While it's pseudo-controversial like JC there's a different tone - Boyle (or Carr?) isn't expecting the audience to laugh just at the word "spastic", but to laugh at the idea that someone is funny because they're a "spastic". That's meant to be funny because it's such an offensive idea - so offensive it's funny.

> The joke has a little bit more to it than "ha ha spastic" in the context of someone's dad having cerebral palsy, which is the level that JC operates at (although he wouldn't go that far). But all the same it shares the "look at me I've just said spastic" features of a JC joke.

I suspect that distinction is in the eye of the beholder and will certainly be missed by many beholders. Either way, it is clearly likely to offend a vulnerable minority group. Less so than muttering the N word off camera?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

I think that gag is far far more likely to cause offense that JC's off-camera niggering. I don't know how that relates to what I'm saying, which just an explanation of why I hate Jeremy Clarkson, whether or not he mutters "nigger" in his private or his professional life.
Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I think that gag is far far more likely to cause offense that JC's off-camera niggering. I don't know how that relates to what I'm saying, which just an explanation of why I hate Jeremy Clarkson, whether or not he mutters "nigger" in his private or his professional life.

Well, aside from his politics, I assumed there your hatred of Clarkson was that his humour is juvenile and offends vulnerable minorities. Is it just the former, then?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

As set out above a couple of times, JC's humour justifies the already bigoted attitude of some of his audience, which is why I hate him. He's bringing the "anti-PC" agenda (which is what exactly, fighting for the right to say "paki" and "queer" whenever you want?) into the mainstream and endorsing mild bigotry. In the case of other pseudo-controversial comedians, they're not doing that, while they may still be offensive.
Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> As set out above a couple of times, JC's humour justifies the already bigoted attitude of some of his audience, which is why I hate him. He's bringing the "anti-PC" agenda (which is what exactly, fighting for the right to say "paki" and "queer" whenever you want?) into the mainstream and endorsing mild bigotry. In the case of other pseudo-controversial comedians, they're not doing that, while they may still be offensive.

In your eyes. Essentially Boyle's spastic joke is the same as those told in playgrounds all over the country in past decades. One could argue that Clarkson's "slope" comment in the context of having spent the programme in Burma was mocking the idea of somebody being inferior because they are Asian or that his whole persona is mocking the idea of mocking foreigners. Do you really believe that Clarkson thinks all Mexicans are fat and flatulent or is he taking the piss out such prejudices?

It's simply that you've decided to interpret them according to your own "prejudices". If, as others have argued above, the word is the problem then they are both equally in the wrong.
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> One could argue that Clarkson's "slope" comment in the context of having spent the programme in Burma was mocking the idea of somebody being inferior because they are Asian or that his whole persona is mocking the idea of mocking foreigners. Do you really believe that Clarkson thinks all Mexicans are fat and flatulent or is he taking the piss out such prejudices?

The issue is how he's getting his laughs from the audience, as I've covered multiple times, rather than whether he really holds the attitudes he reflects. Sorry to shatter your illusion, but JC's humour is not a sophisticated satire of prejudice, and you're just lying if you're telling me that you think it is. Nor is Boyle's, as it happens, and I'm not going to defend his humour because I don't like it. I don't share the same hatred for Boyle as for JC because Boyle is not endorsing his audience's lazy mild bigotry of the "ha ha lesbians" variety, he's a guy who makes sick jokes.

> It's simply that you've decided to interpret them according to your own "prejudices". If, as others have argued above, the word is the problem then they are both equally in the wrong.

No. I've explained why I hate JC and I'll do it again. It's because he makes money out of bringing the anti-PC, "ha ha he looks gay" "ha ha slope" humour into the mainstream, and in so doing justifies existing bigotry. If you can't see why I find that more objectionable than generic sick jokes a la Frankie Boyle, then you're just missing my point. I'm not sure I can try much harder to explain it.
Goucho on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> As set out above a couple of times, JC's humour justifies the already bigoted attitude of some of his audience, which is why I hate him. He's bringing the "anti-PC" agenda (which is what exactly, fighting for the right to say "paki" and "queer" whenever you want?) into the mainstream and endorsing mild bigotry. In the case of other pseudo-controversial comedians, they're not doing that, while they may still be offensive.

I don't think Clarkson's 'anti PC' stance means he wants free reign to use words like nigger, spastic or queer.

But lets be honest, certain aspects of political correctness (which by default, tend to emanate from left wing liberal channels, as opposed to right wing) have gone a bit mad -it won't be long before saying 'i'm just off to the shower'..or 'gas oven' are deemed to be offensive to Jewish people, and replaced with 'human hygiene sprinkler' and 'heat sourced food mechanism'.

I think it is the more absurd aspects of PC - 'vertically challenged', instead of short, 'deferred success' instead of failure, etc etc, that he likes to take the piss out of.

Regarding racism, Chris Rock's famous 'I hate niggers', apart from being incredibly funny, is also IMHO, hugely significant from a social perspective too - the audience is primarily black, watch their reaction!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3PJF0YE-x4

Can you imagine the reception it would have got in the UK?
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I was in Tehran myself just a few years ago... You're not the only one who has a view of the world, Brucie.

I do realise this, so in your view are all, or most women in Teheran delighted/pleased/less than pleased with the constraints upon them concerning dress? Did the ones you spoke to there express the same view as those you speak to in Britain?
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> What happens if when you take it up with the person who is using the racist words they just tell you to eff off and mind our own business?

That leaves you with two choices really, doesn't it?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> I don't think Clarkson's 'anti PC' stance means he wants free reign to use words like nigger, spastic or queer.

> But lets be honest, certain aspects of political correctness (which by default, tend to emanate from left wing liberal channels, as opposed to right wing) have gone a bit mad -it won't be long before saying 'i'm just off to the shower'..or 'gas oven' are deemed to be offensive to Jewish people, and replaced with 'human hygiene sprinkler' and 'heat sourced food mechanism'.

What the "anti-PC" argument does is take something that is bollocks, like blackboards becoming chalkboards and so on, and use it to discredit social changes towards equality. I agree that the existence of the bollocks in the first place is unhelpful to the case for equality, but anyone with a brain can distinguish between bollocks and positive social change.

> I think it is the more absurd aspects of PC - 'vertically challenged', instead of short, 'deferred success' instead of failure, etc etc, that he likes to take the piss out of.

If only. What he does is makes crap, lazy stereotype-based schoolyard humour and then uses the bollocks as an excuse to be "anti-PC".

> Regarding racism, Chris Rock's famous 'I hate niggers', apart from being incredibly funny, is also IMHO, hugely significant from a social perspective too - the audience is primarily black, watch their reaction!


> Can you imagine the reception it would have got in the UK?

Yeah it's quite interesting that. Shows you how context-dependent the use of language is. The word "nigger"/"nigga" has a different feel there than when JC mumbles it off camera, doesn't it?!

Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> both deny agency to women.

Sorry but that's simply not true... the one imposes a dress code on women for ostensibly religious reasons but which are really based on the social attitudes present in the Arabian peninsula centuries ago and which held women as inferior to men whereas the other frees women from this oppression.

You could, if you were being Tobyesque, ie. nit-picking in resolutely reactionary manner, say that the French state limits women's right to be oppressed voluntarily but it's not convincing. The nature of all laws, even the most liberal, is to limit a freedom which society considers to be harmful. Murder is illegal, we limit the freedom of an individual to kill people.
Goucho on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What the "anti-PC" argument does is take something that is bollocks, like blackboards becoming chalkboards

Well lets be fair, the PC brigade have given us a lot of bollocks! Blackboards is a perfect example. How can 'blackboard' be racist - it's a board that's black, so the chalk shows up on it FFS. Then there's 'Ba Ba Black Sheep' - yep, that's got the word 'black' in it, so we'll get that banned too.

Why not go the whole hog and ban the word black!!!

> If only. What he does is makes crap, lazy stereotype-based schoolyard humour

A bit like the people who say everyone who watches Top Gear is an immature middle class white bigot you mean?

> Yeah it's quite interesting that. Shows you how context-dependent the use of language is. The word "nigger"/"nigga" has a different feel there than when JC mumbles it off camera, doesn't it?!

You mean supposedly mumbled it?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:
> Well lets be fair, the PC brigade have given us a lot of bollocks!

I just think it's easy to differentiate the bollocks from the rest. And note that not everything you hear about PC language is actually true, some of it is made up, usually to support the prejudice of newspaper readers, for money.

Here's some nice stuff about political correctness:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHLnf5H4soU

> A bit like the people who say everyone who watches Top Gear is an immature middle class white bigot you mean?

I don't recall who said that. In fact I've specifically said that I don't think the whole TG audience is bigoted. See also the point about the "bigotedness distribution" above.

> You mean supposedly mumbled it?

Maybe, don't care.
Post edited at 14:44
Goucho on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Maybe, don't care.

So whether he actually did say it - or not, is irrelevant in the context of your argument?

That's an interesting approach, and bang on the Sun, Mirror, Star readership demographic - "it were in't Daily Mirror, so it must be true!"
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> the French state limits women's right to be oppressed voluntarily

So you/the French State know what's good for them better than they do? Fair enough. In Tehran that's what the Gashte Ershad also think. http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2013/05/iran

Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> So whether he actually did say it - or not, is irrelevant in the context of your argument?

> That's an interesting approach, and bang on the Sun, Mirror, Star readership demographic - "it were in't Daily Mirror, so it must be true!"

Yes, right from the top I've been saying how this whole incident is bollocks and purely vindictive against JC, but incidentally I do hate JC. And then a long discussion ensues about why I hate JC which is nothing to do with the "nigger" thing.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

When you say "them" do you know how many were involved in wearing the burqua? Estimates are between 400 and 2000, the vast majority of muslim women in France choose not to wear archaic religious garb, they want to be part of the 21st century, to work and enjoy equality with men.

Why do you continually imply that the muslim women, in general, you always use the word without a qualifying adjective like "some", "many" or whatever, are being oppressed by French men who deny them the possibility to do what they want to do? It's just so dishonest, exactly the same sort of intellectual dishonesty you hear from Tariq Ramadan and his ilk.
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In reply to Jon Stewart:

I can understand why people hate JC, although I don't. The shame of it is that I don't think (and I could well be wrong), that he needs to do any of this sort of shit to retain the bulk of his popularity. The appeal of Top Gear to me is just the cars and the juvenille nature of it.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You seem to be conflating two different laws Bruce, the one banning face covering in public and the one banning 'conspicuous' religious symbols in schools. I presume once you are out of compulsory schooling, women can both wear headscarves and work and be equal with men as long as you don't cover your face.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If only. What he does is makes crap, lazy stereotype-based schoolyard humour and then uses the bollocks as an excuse to be "anti-PC".

> Yeah it's quite interesting that. Shows you how context-dependent the use of language is. The word "nigger"/"nigga" has a different feel there than when JC mumbles it off camera, doesn't it?!

What did JC stereotype black people as?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> What did JC stereotype black people as?

When?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You know it's the mothers and grandmothers who push for their daughters to get FGM.

Ah well, as long as it isn't the men, doesn't matter. Shouldn't try stop that practice either. Bloody male politicians and their 'war against mutilation', absolutely disgusting telling people what to do.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

You say language is context dependent and JC is different because he relies on lazy stereotypes. What lazy stereotype did he use for black people?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

As I've said I think the "nigger" thing is a load of bollocks. The points about language being context dependent and about JC's use of lazy stereotypes are both general, and true.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Cool cool.
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> the vast majority of muslim women in France choose not to wear archaic religious garb, they want to be part of the 21st century, to work and enjoy equality with men.

Can we be clear on this Bruce. Is a woman wearing a headscarf able to "work and enjoy equality with men"? Genuine question, btw.

Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Sorry to shatter your illusion, but JC's humour is not a sophisticated satire of prejudice, and you're just lying if you're telling me that you think it is. Nor is Boyle's, as it happens, and I'm not going to defend his humour because I don't like it. I don't share the same hatred for Boyle as for JC because Boyle is not endorsing his audience's lazy mild bigotry of the "ha ha lesbians" variety, he's a guy who makes sick jokes.

You said "While it's pseudo-controversial like JC there's a different tone - Boyle (or Carr?) isn't expecting the audience to laugh just at the word "spastic", but to laugh at the idea that someone is funny because they're a "spastic" which sounds suspiciously like arguing it's a is a satire of prejudice. Given that the basic joke behind "Top Gear" seems to be that there are three middle aged men acting like juvenile buffoons it seems perfectly reasonable to think that this includes their stereotyping of foreigners i.e. to laugh at the idea of thinking Mexicans are fat and flatulent.

> No. I've explained why I hate JC and I'll do it again. It's because he makes money out of bringing the anti-PC, "ha ha he looks gay" "ha ha slope" humour into the mainstream, and in so doing justifies existing bigotry. If you can't see why I find that more objectionable than generic sick jokes a la Frankie Boyle, then you're just missing my point. I'm not sure I can try much harder to explain it.

To anyone not "in" on the subtlety of Boyle's humour it could just as easily be described as justifying bigotry. Do you think the average fifteen year old schoolboy gets the difference?

Not, to be honest, that I've spent much time watching either of them. Now, Michael McIntyre, there's a nice inoffensive chappie…..:-)
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
You could just as easily ask: Does not wearing a headscarf affect the ability to work and enjoy equality with men.

Forget about the headscarf per say and lets just talk about religious dress in secular educational institutions.
Post edited at 17:23
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> You could just as easily ask: Does not wearing a headscarf affect the ability to work and enjoy equality with men.

If I were talking to a conservative Muslim, I would. But I'm talking to a conservative leftist, so I'm asking a more relevant question.
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> Forget about the headscarf per say and lets just talk about religious dress in secular educational institutions.

As long as it's not too punk, I think I can cope with it.
http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lcrtc5FQWs1qet98po1_r1_400.jpg
Ramblin dave - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> When you say "them" do you know how many were involved in wearing the burqua? Estimates are between 400 and 2000,

Meanwhile, in 2011, plastic surgeons in France performed (among other things) 41,000 breast augmentations, 13,000 female breast reductions, 11,000 facelifts, 16,000 rhinoplasties, 96,000 botox injections...
(http://www.isaps.org/press-center/isaps-global-statistics )

As ever, it's funny how many people suddenly become militantly feminist when it's someone else's social norms they're criticising...
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

What is a conservatist leftist?
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> Meanwhile, in 2011, plastic surgeons in France performed (among other things) 41,000 breast augmentations, 13,000 female breast reductions, 11,000 facelifts, 16,000 rhinoplasties, 96,000 botox injections...


> As ever, it's funny how many people suddenly become militantly feminist when it's someone else's social norms they're criticising...

Breast implants are religious garb now? Never knew dude. Christians are a bit mad aren't they?

P.S. What does Hundreds of thousands walking around with comestic surgery have to do with this? Are you going to post hat sales figures next?
Post edited at 18:30
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Meanwhile, in 2011, plastic surgeons in France performed (among other things) 41,000 breast augmentations, 13,000 female breast reductions, 11,000 facelifts, 16,000 rhinoplasties, 96,000 botox injections...

No wonder French women are so fit.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Ahahaha
Ramblin dave - on 06 May 2014
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:
> P.S. What does Hundreds of thousands walking around with comestic surgery have to do with this? Are you going to post hat sales figures next?

It demonstrates that pervasive pressure on women to alter their appearance to fit what society demands of them is hardly unique to Islamic culture. But funnily enough, the vast majority of people who are vocally opposed to Islamic dress codes tend to be fairly quiet about similar issues surrounding female appearance in mainstream European cultures (hence the French haven't banned nose jobs), which suggests that either
a) their feminist convictions aren't quite strong enough to make them face up to uncomfortable truths about a culture that they're actually part of or
b) they aren't actually that bothered about womens rights in general but they don't like funny foreign looking people walking around wearing strange clothes or
c) both.
Post edited at 18:49
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Exactly.

(BTW, how long have you been around this parish though Dave? I wrote this in 2006(!) and it was spurred by UKC discussions (linked in the blog post) http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2006/10/on-cosmetic-surgery-and-veils.html Were you in on those debates 8 years ago!? :-)
r0x0r.wolfo - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I believe that the figures of hat sales demonstrates the pervasive pressure on people to alter their appearance to fit what society demands of them is hardly unique to Islamic culture. But funnily enough, the vast majority of people who are vocally opposed to Islamic dress codes tend to be fairly quiet about similar issues surrounding appearance in mainstream European cultures (hence the French haven't banned hats), which suggests that either

a) their convictions aren't quite strong enough to make them face up to uncomfortable truths about a culture that they're actually part of or

b) they aren't actually that bothered about rights in general but they don't like funny foreign looking people walking around wearing strange clothes or

c) both.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

If you cut and paste the complete paragraph it becomes clear:

> When you say "them" do you know how many were involved in wearing the burqua? Estimates are between 400 and 2000, the vast majority of muslim women in France choose not to wear archaic religious garb, they want to be part of the 21st century, to work and enjoy equality with men.

A bit naughty of you, wasn't it?

You seem to have an axe to grind... what have you got against women?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> You seem to have an axe to grind... what have you got against women?

Again more insults but no answers.

Why not just answer Sean's simple question? I suspect most of us agree with you that full face veils cause all sorts of problems in work environments, but he asked what do you think of headscarves, not veils. Is wearing a headscarf going to stop women working equally with men?
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> As ever, it's funny how many people suddenly become militantly feminist when it's someone else's social norms they're criticising...

I was not involved in the campaign by muslim women and those who helped them, it came from some of the women themselves. One well know association was is called "Ni putes, ni soumise" ("neither whores nor submissive") referring to the way women who don't submit to the will of their fathers or brothers in "ghetto" areas are insulted as being "whores" - if they are lucky, acid throwing and razor slashing of their faces being worse.

So although I can understand that everybody reading these threads may not be familiar with the reality of life in parts of France I do think they should at least check out the reality before posting.
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Which religious or political organisation puts pressure on women to have cosmetic surgery? In France it is hardly encouraged officially, it is not reimbursed by the national health insurance. The pressure comes from the economic system which treats women as objects and by advertising and the press who try to make them feel that they need to be like Barbies to be happy but a lot of people oppose this rather sordid aspect of capitalism.

I don't see how the oppression of women by religions, all of them pretty well, is in the slightest way made more palatable because of this?
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> A bit naughty of you, wasn't it?

> You seem to have an axe to grind... what have you got against women?

I'm a very naughty man, Brucie darling, but I do have a genuine question, which is:
Is a woman wearing a headscarf able to "work and enjoy equality with men"?

Simple question, probably not a simple answer but give it a go perhaps?
In reply to seankenny:

Is she a hair model?
Bruce Hooker - on 06 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

He cut out the reference to the burqua in the paragraph then asked a question as if I had said wearing headscarves prevented muslim working equally with men... that's dishonest, and saying so is not an insult.

Neither is asking if he has an axe to grind as although I can understand that a muslim man brought up in a closed society has an excuse for not knowing better than to mistreat his wife, daughter or sister I can't understand why someone who has not gone through such brain washing like Sean, but you yourself for that matter, can be excused for such attitudes... You manifestly have an, or several, axes to grind. Same question to you, what have you got against women, why do you constantly defend archaic practices which treat women as sub-humans?

A simple question but like numerous questions I have asked you I don't expect an answer this time any more than on previous ones.
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:
> You said "While it's pseudo-controversial like JC there's a different tone - Boyle (or Carr?) isn't expecting the audience to laugh just at the word "spastic", but to laugh at the idea that someone is funny because they're a "spastic" which sounds suspiciously like arguing it's a is a satire of prejudice. Given that the basic joke behind "Top Gear" seems to be that there are three middle aged men acting like juvenile buffoons it seems perfectly reasonable to think that this includes their stereotyping of foreigners i.e. to laugh at the idea of thinking Mexicans are fat and flatulent.

I know irony-detection can be a subtle art at times, but just watch the clip. It's not ironic, it's moronic "ha ha mexicans, they're poor, ha ha, farting". In the context of TG humour, to overlay this "it's ironic" interpretation is ridiculous and absolutely unconvincing. Here's another example of a top gear joke:

- you're not very into gay rights are you jeremy?
- i demand the right not to be bummed

(This was cut from the edit, but Alastair Campbell who was a guest revealed it.)

This is the level of humour that TG operates at, it's not ironic, it's just crap and offensive.

> To anyone not "in" on the subtlety of Boyle's humour it could just as easily be described as justifying bigotry. Do you think the average fifteen year old schoolboy gets the difference?

I agree that Boyle is treading a very fine line and his jokes will probably delight people who just think it's funny to be offensive, including some 15 year old boys. But his humour operates at a different level to TG, it's a thousand times more self-aware and is all about getting people to laugh at things they know they shouldn't laugh at, it's the humour of discomfort. It isn't justifying bigotry, because the offensiveness is fully appreciated by both Boyle and his audience. It doesn't support the attitudes of his audience. Like it or not, Clarkson makes jokes like the one above because he wants his audience to go "ha ha, yeah, i demand the right not to be bummed too, you're right".

I assure you that if you think TG is ironic and critical of bigotry, then you're deluded. I don't believe you do actually think that, because it's such a stupid, unconvincing argument.
Post edited at 20:49
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Yada yada yada Brucie, now you've got my dishonesty off your chest, how about answering the question?

Which "archaic practices" am I defending? I think you need to be clear about this... Tell me which they are, and I'll answer you.
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Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

e, including some 15 year old boys. But his humour operates at a different level to TG, it's a thousand times more self-aware and is all about getting people to laugh at things they know they shouldn't laugh at, it's the humour of discomfort. It isn't justifying bigotry, because the offensiveness is fully appreciated by both Boyle and his audience. It doesn't support the attitudes of his audience.

> I assure you that if you think TG is ironic and critical of bigotry, then you're deluded. I don't believe you do actually think that, because it's such a stupid, unconvincing argument.

"I thought watching queer eye for the straight guy and making gay friends would help me get fashion tips, Instead..... They f*cked me"

Do you remember at school, there were always kids saying "My dad's bigger than your dad, my dad will batter your dad!" "So what? My dad will shag your dad. And your dad will enjoy it."

If you can really spot the post modern irony (or, for that matter,the humour) in these two then I think you're kidding yourself. It's just simple shock "humour" that is happy to offend anyone and everyone. If you don't think it has the effect of encouraging the bloke in the street to tell similar jokes then you're deluded!

They're both doing much the same thing, albeit the audiences may (or may not)perceive it differently. Think how you'd react if JC had told the latter two "jokes" or FB the former.
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Postmanpat:

> If you can really spot the post modern irony (or, for that matter,the humour) in these two then I think you're kidding yourself. It's just simple shock "humour" that is happy to offend anyone and everyone.

I agree they're similarly crap and offensive jokes.

> If you don't think it has the effect of encouraging the bloke in the street to tell similar jokes then you're deluded!
> They're both doing much the same thing, albeit the audiences may (or may not)perceive it differently.

You've hit the nail on the head. One is from an alternative comedian who tells sick, pseudo-controversial jokes to an audience who like that. They're an audience of people who think they're edgy and cool because they can hear jokes like that and go "ha yeah, it's just like so offensive it's funny, yeah?".

The jokes at their worst are indeed pretty much the same shit, but one of them is for a minority audience of people who think they're edgy, to laugh at in the knowledge of the offensiveness, and the other is aimed at the mainstream and is backed up by genuinely bigoted opinion pieces in the Sunday Times. Frankie Boyle doesn't inspire the same hatred because he doesn't make shit offensive jokes as part of one of the most popular programmes on TV and then say in the newspaper the next day, "yes, I am actually that much of a bigoted c^nt, and this is your excuse to hold these views too".

Of course whether JC really does believe the utter tripe that he comes out with, or whether he just does it for money, is still unproven.

JC makes money by spreading bigoted views. FB makes money by making sick jokes. There's a difference in attitude between them.


In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> what have you got against women, why do you constantly defend archaic practices which treat women as sub-humans?

Again insults and no answers.

So let me be clear to you for squizillionth time; I don't. I believe women as individuals have the right to wear what they want. I don't think a woman's father, brother, son, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the French government or even you has a right to tell women what they can or can't wear.
Postmanpat on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Of course whether JC really does believe the utter tripe that he comes out with, or whether he just does it for money, is still unproven.

> JC makes money by spreading bigoted views. FB makes money by making sick jokes. There's a difference in attitude between them.

Not being prepared to pay for the Sunday Times I haven't read his justifications. Maybe it makes me a bad person but I find the hypocrisy of the in crowd basking in the "edgy" humour rather more irritating.
stroppygob - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:


> Can you imagine the reception it would have got in the UK?

None at all. The middle-class-guilt-hand-wringing brigade don't consider anything said by a black/Afro-American/coloured/thisweekspcterm to be racist.

Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

Do you think that the Chris Rock material is racist?
Tom V - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I've been with you most of the way because i would like to see Clarkson pressed down headfirst into a dunghill.

But defending other people such as Boyle because he's "alternative" is just going to fuel the non PC flames. And I didn't know that sick jokes were somehow more acceptable than bigoted ones.
Post edited at 22:41
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Tom V:

I've not really defended Boyle, although PP was trying his best to goad me into it.

The truth is that I hate Jeremy Clarkson, whereas I dislike Frankie Boyle. I was just explaining why the difference.
stroppygob - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

He openly uses a word which was mumbled, but not broadcast, by a white bloke, and which led to a huge outbreak of handwringing amongst the UKC chattering classes. So no.
Tom V - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Clarkson and Boyle; two horns on the same goat.

(Actually I think that Clarkson and Monbiot are two horns on the same goat, but it's a different breed.....)
stroppygob - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The truth is that I hate Jeremy Clarkson,

really? Spent much time with him? Or have you just chosen him as a hate figure to fuel your PC wrath out of the need to be self righteous.

Hating people we do not know, and who do not impinge on our lives, is so unnecessary isn't it? Still better than wanting to punch someone who threatened your wife, much more morally superior.
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

Jon has made quite clear that he believes Clarkson and his ilk do actually impinge on his life. He's made that point clearly and rationally many times over, without resorting to histrionics. It's perfectly possible to hate a public figure, even if we don't know them personally. If you disagree then you'll have to refute any belief in love at first sight, which is kind of the opposite.
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

I've spent rather a long time explaining why I hate him, you're welcome to read it all.
seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

> He openly uses a word which was mumbled, but not broadcast, by a white bloke, and which led to a huge outbreak of handwringing amongst the UKC chattering classes. So no.

I don't understand what you're getting at here. Are you saying its okay to use the n-word because Chris Rock does so?
Goucho on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Jon has made quite clear that he believes Clarkson and his ilk do actually impinge on his life.

How?

There's such a thing as a remote control to change the channel, or is Jon being forced to watch TG at gunpoint, with the same gun pointed at his head forcing him to read JC's columns in The Sun and The Times too?

There are lots of people on TV and who write newspaper columns who I don't particularly like or agree with, but I don't watch them or read their shit.


seankenny - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

Erm, with all due respect, why don't you go back and read what Jon wrote and engage with his argument?

Alternatively, imagine we allowed the BNP to run a channel full of race hatred content. That might affect people who had no desire to watch said channel. Now clearly I'm nt suggesting Clarkson is equivalent to the BNP but you see my point no?
stroppygob - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> If you disagree then you'll have to refute any belief in love at first sight, which is kind a total strawman.

Fixed that for you.



Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> How?

> > The argument is this:
- people hold bigoted views and always have done
- people feel resentful and put out by the changes in the law etc that have marginalised racism, sexism and homophobia and think it's all the work of the oppressive "PC lobby" and the sour-faced dykes at the Guardian
- Jeremy Clarkson comes on TV and makes mildly sexist, racist and homophobic jokes, and goes on about objecting to PC
- people with bigoted views feel justified in holding them, feel that some of the mainstream establishment is still "on their side"
- the changes in attitudes away from bigotry are slowed down

So it's not the actual comments by JC that do insidious damage, it's the attitudes that were there already. JC, by justifying them with his outrageous anti-PC views which he has for money, is just doing his bit to make sure people hang on to these attitudes.

Then there's a load of discussion about this which is mainly me repeating it.
stroppygob - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Still, to hate a man you do not know, it's such an unnecessary waste of time and emotion, isn't it? But if you choose to waste your time and energy getting so het up about someone saying something, somewhere far away, which you didn’t hear and wasn’t addressed to you, who are we to judge?

Hate away Jon, fill your boots, enjoy!!


hate
verb
1.
to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest.
stroppygob - on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Goucho)
> Alternatively, imagine we allowed the BNP to run a channel full of race hatred content. That might affect people who had no desire to watch said channel. Now clearly I'm nt suggesting Clarkson is equivalent to the BNP but you see my point no?

God that's such utter sh!te, you're doing yourself and Jon no favours there mate.

Goucho on 06 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Erm, with all due respect, why don't you go back and read what Jon wrote and engage with his argument?

> Alternatively, imagine we allowed the BNP to run a channel full of race hatred content. That might affect people who had no desire to watch said channel. Now clearly I'm nt suggesting Clarkson is equivalent to the BNP but you see my point no?

In a democratic society, with supposedly freedom of speech and thought, how do you propose to eradicate the opinions and attitudes of those who you disagree with?

Just how do you stop people being offended - exactly what kind of censorship are you suggesting?

I'm sure there must be certain members of the Catholic faith, who find Father Ted offensive, likewise, I'm sure there certain sections of the community who's moral values might be offended by people like Louis Spence mincing around on TV, or militant radicals advocating violence to anyone who doesn't agree with their political or religious views.

The world ain't perfect, and whilst there should be consistent moral values which we all recognise and adhere too, unfortunately, the human race is somewhat flawed and f*cked up.

So where do you start - in the real world, not some ideological one?
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:
I don't think you really know what I'm going on about because you haven't read it. It's not about the "nigger" thing, nor is it costing me a great deal of emotion (although since I've been sat in front of a computer for days it has admittedly distracted me from work) as you'd see if you'd read it all. Which given the absurd length of the thread and all the different stuff being discussed is, to be fair, an unreasonable expectation. But for your peace of mind, there aren't 500 posts about the "nigger" bullshit!
Post edited at 23:49
Jon Stewart - on 06 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> So where do you start - in the real world, not some ideological one?

With a bit of dialogue about what you think's funny/crap/offensive/etc? This thread is mainly quite a good discussion of what different people think is suitable for broadcast on TV, what other people think is unhelpful and crap, etc. Things like "how do you treat mildly racist humour on TV" are good to discuss (and quite emotive too, which is why it can be compelling!).
Goucho on 06 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> With a bit of dialogue about what you think's funny/crap/offensive/etc?

How many different points of view do you think you'll get as an answer to that question?

Who is the arbitrator of what is funny/crap/offensive/etc?

Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Which "archaic practices" am I defending?

The imposition of a dress code on women. It's been made fairly clear.

Now please tell me if the Teheran women said the same as those you mentioned in Britain.
Jon Stewart - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

There are few on here, hence the length of the thread and the many tangents. I don't think anyone's looking for an answer, the dialogue is just so people can give their point of view and justify it.

As much as I hate Jeremy Clarkson, in many ways it's good that the TV personality I hate the most (that is, Jeremy Clarkson) is only as despicable as Jeremy Clarkson. It's no longer Jim Davidson - the world is improving!
stroppygob - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> But for your peace of mind, there aren't 500 posts about the "nigger" bullshit!

Funny, that's what the thread was about.

But still, don't let me distract you from your hate.

Goucho on 07 May 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> As much as I hate Jeremy Clarkson, in many ways it's good that the TV personality I hate the most (that is, Jeremy Clarkson) is only as despicable as Jeremy Clarkson. It's no longer Jim Davidson - the world is improving!

A lot of attitudes are generational and background instilled.

House training old dogs is always more difficult, time consuming and frustrating than puppies.

Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> > what have you got against women, why do you constantly defend archaic practices which treat women as sub-humans?

> Again insults and no answers.

My question above is not an insult unless you consider any challenge to your wisdom from the North as an insult... pretty pretentious though if you do.

> So let me be clear to you for squizillionth time; I don't. I believe women as individuals have the right to wear what they want. I don't think a woman's father, brother, son, the King of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, .... (has a right to tell women what they can or can't wear.)

Somewhat in contradiction with your attitude concerning muslim women in Britain then, you don't mind them being the victims of religious and cultural pressure apparently.

> the French government or even you has a right to tell women what they can or can't wear.

Neither of whom tell them what they have to wear, but defend their right to escape these pressures. The legal situation in France excludes all "ostensible religious signs" in the National Education system, it is a secular Republic and so there is no place for religious symbols in the state school system - it doesn't apply to private schools set up by religious parents.

The ban in public places is on burquas, not the head scarf. This is to help muslim women escape what is considered as an unacceptable and extreme aspect of religion which has no place in a modern society, like excision. it's a subjective decision that was taken in a particular political situation - it was only considered necessary because of attempts by radical islamists to instrumentalize women in their efforts to impose their archaic interpretation of islam in France.

seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

> Fixed that for you.

Well, you said it's impossible to hate people we don't know. I just pointed out that feeling extreme emotion towards people we've never met is a common part of life. That's all. Can't see that as particularly controversial.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> In a democratic society, with supposedly freedom of speech and thought, how do you propose to eradicate the opinions and attitudes of those who you disagree with?

> Just how do you stop people being offended - exactly what kind of censorship are you suggesting?

> I'm sure there must be certain members of the Catholic faith, who find Father Ted offensive, likewise, I'm sure there certain sections of the community who's moral values might be offended by people like Louis Spence mincing around on TV, or militant radicals advocating violence to anyone who doesn't agree with their political or religious views.

> The world ain't perfect, and whilst there should be consistent moral values which we all recognise and adhere too, unfortunately, the human race is somewhat flawed and f*cked up.

> So where do you start - in the real world, not some ideological one?


This is a really tricky one, isn't it? My position is that I don't want hate speech directed at groups of people, but I do want the freedom to criticise religions, political parties and viewpoints, etc. So I can say "the Nation of Islam are a bunch of deluded f*ckers" but not "the Nation of Islam are a bunch of f*cking deluded niggers". I think there's a difference.

But I'm aware there are good arguments against this point of view:
http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/why-hate-speech-should-not-be-banned/


Oh, and by the way, if you're accusing me of "not living in the real world" - what gives you that impression?
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Which "archaic practices" am I defending?

> The imposition of a dress code on women. It's been made fairly clear.

No, Bruce, you don't make yourself clear. You wrap everything up with emotive language that doesn't help yourself or those talking to you. If it wasn't clear, I wouldn't have asked for clarity, would I?

So, I'm apparently defending the "imposition of a dress code"? Well, not quite, I was defending a woman's right to wear a headscarf in the office if she wants to. The thing is, it's okay to impose a dress code, isn't it? Were I to follow my dream and open a tattoo studio I'd be well miffed if my employees came to work in a suit. I'd be expecting jeans and a t-shirt, obviously. So we all impose dress codes on one another, all the time.

How is a headscarf any different? Well, none of the dress codes enforced on me, or by me, would involve not wearing trousers (well, nearly all - http://suitupdressup.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/walterwhitebreakingbad.jpg ). No office is going to say to me: "Sean, we wear nice shirts and ties here, but no trousers, you hear that, no trousers!" For the quite good reason that I'm going to feel uncomfortable, naked and possibly slightly ashamed wandering around in my kecks. From what I understand, that's how a lot of Muslim women feel about wearing a headscarf. It's a matter - to them - of decency.

So whilst I feel it's okay for employers to impose some dress codes on us (steel toe capped boots, or no dangly jewellery, for example), I don't think it's any business of employers or the state to tell people that they shouldn't wear clothes that - to them - are part of feeling acceptably covered for the outside world.



> Now please tell me if the Teheran women said the same as those you mentioned in Britain.

Well, the women I met in Iran (not just Tehran, but other cities too) were a very mixed bunch. Some were clearly pretty conservative and wore a full chador (the black robe which is tight around the face), and were happy with this. Others wore headscarves as a clear imposition and tried to push the rules as far as they could. It was clear that if there were no rules, as in the UK, that many women would remove their headcovering straightaway and others would keep it. On the other hand, plenty of Muslim women I know in Britain don't wear any type of headgear, and others do.

Now, I've done you the honour of answering your question. How about you clearly answer mine: is a woman wearing a headscarf able to "work and enjoy equality with men"?

Sir Chasm - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny: "is a woman wearing a headscarf able to "work and enjoy equality with men"?"

Is she compelled to wear it by other people or is it a free choice?
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I'm compelled to wear a suit to work (clearly I'd rather wear breeches, a frock coat and a periwig, but dressing like it's 1765 doesn't seem to be an option in my workplace). I would like to think that despite this compunction by the forces of society I can enjoy equality with my female colleagues, who have a little more freedom in their dress options.

Fwiw, my colleagues who cover their heads do so voluntarily. I'm not sure why this is so hard to grasp.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> If it wasn't clear, I wouldn't have asked for clarity, would I?

You might have done, Toby does it all the time it's one of his methods of debating, discussion by attrition.

I don't see what is unclear about being against the oppression of women or religions that teach that they are inferior to men and all the symbolic acts and impositions that are part of this... I think the average 10 year old would understand, but if they wanted to. It's easy to not understand when you don't want to.
Sir Chasm - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I'm compelled to wear a suit to work (clearly I'd rather wear breeches, a frock coat and a periwig, but dressing like it's 1765 doesn't seem to be an option in my workplace). I would like to think that despite this compunction by the forces of society I can enjoy equality with my female colleagues, who have a little more freedom in their dress options.

My commiserations, what dire fate would befall you if you dared not wear a suit?

> Fwiw, my colleagues who cover their heads do so voluntarily. I'm not sure why this is so hard to grasp.

It's probably just bemusement that some people feel the need to kowtow to a mediaeval religion.
dek - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, we're the 'morality' enforcers wandering around Iran when you were there?

It not uncommon to see baby Hijabees, aged about three years old in Edinburgh now.... The sharia dress code 'volunteers' start very young. :-)
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Okay Bruce, you've had your rant. Now answer my question, please, this is all getting Paxmanly tedious.
Ramblin dave - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> It's probably just bemusement that some people feel the need to kowtow to a mediaeval religion.

I'm now imagining that you regularly go to work in a mankini and nothing else.

Or do cultural notions of acceptably modest clothing only become a problem for you when they're from someone else's culture?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny 2:

> From what I understand, that's how a lot of Muslim women feel about wearing a headscarf. It's a matter - to them - of decency.

And for you this is not a sign of brain-washing? To you it is perfectly normal for someone to feel that there is something indecent about not covering their hair with a scarf?

> is a woman wearing a headscarf able to "work and enjoy equality with men"?

Well as I haven't said this why are you so keen in me reacting to it? I was referring to the burqua which in my and most people's view does make this very difficult. The problem in schools was as said above a ban on all religious symbols, it was also caused by incidents when young girls, at the instigation of their parents, insisted on wearing scarves during gym and sport lessons which was not allowed by the school, ditto for swimming. It all came to a head when girls found themselves excluded from normal activities by school regulations and teachers were in difficulty due to a lack of clarity and sometimes contradictory regulations.

Extremists were instrumentalizing children to mark a political point so after consultations and the normal democratic parliamentary process the laws were clarified and all religious symbols were banned - but in the state school system, fanatical parents are free to set up and send their children to private schools which may have religious practices in the curriculum. Personally I find this a pity but it was a compromise to avoid escalation of the whole situation.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating though and practically overnight the zealots backed down, the girls involved were able to return to their classes with their friends and resume a normal education in order to live a normal life. The zealots chose another angle of attack, either pushing for women only swimming periods in municipal swimming pools or the wearing of burquas in public, the struggle against obscurantism is never over.

So that's the background of the headscarf affair in France, in answer to your question though, even if it doesn't really refer to anything I've said, I think it depends on several factors, if someone wears a scarf simply as they might a hat or any other piece of clothing obviously there is no problem, if they do it because it is imposed on them by a religion, in this case as a symbol of their inferiority compared to men, then I'd say it does make it difficult for them to live a normal free life to the full, yes. However as it's pretty hard to know what the motive is any legislation would be difficult to conceive or apply which is why AFAIK no country has attempted it. The long term answer is education, of course.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> My commiserations, what dire fate would befall you if you dared not wear a suit?

I'm guessing that eventually I'd face some sort of disciplinary action.

> It's probably just bemusement that some people feel the need to kowtow to a mediaeval religion.

You're ignoring the possibility that their arguments for dressing like this are quite complex and modern. Unless of course you're smarter and more sophisticated than everyone who wears a hijab?

Still, if you're bemused and think it's silly, why not just let them get on with it?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Fwiw, my colleagues who cover their heads do so voluntarily. I'm not sure why this is so hard to grasp.

And yet you said the opposite just above. You said "It's a matter - to them - of decency" which implies a pretty heavy constraint on them somewhere along the line, unless you are prepared to defend the notion that the showing of women's hair (on their head!) is indecent?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to dek:

> Bruce, we're the 'morality' enforcers wandering around Iran when you were there?

No, "freedom" was guaranteed by the Shah :-) Life is rarely simple.
Ramblin dave - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> And yet you said the opposite just above. You said "It's a matter - to them - of decency" which implies a pretty heavy constraint on them somewhere along the line, unless you are prepared to defend the notion that the showing of women's hair (on their head!) is indecent?

Out of interest, is there anything that you actually would consider "indecent", and if so what and why?
Rob Exile Ward on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I'm not sure where this fits in to the arguments but this: 'To you it is perfectly normal for someone to feel that there is something indecent about not covering their hair with a scarf?'

This was perfectly normal when I was growing up in middle England; if you went to church (as my parents did when I was small) all women covered their hair in church as a matter of routine, because of a remark of St Pauls.

So women being forced to wear headscarves is not so remote a phenomenon.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> And for you this is not a sign of brain-washing? To you it is perfectly normal for someone to feel that there is something indecent about not covering their hair with a scarf?

Personally, to me, it's all a bit ridiculous but if they feel it's indecent then who am I to argue or to place them in a position where they feel indecent? Clearly I feel differently about full face coverings.

> ... young girls, at the instigation of their parents, insisted on wearing scarves during gym and sport lessons which was not allowed by the school, ditto for swimming. It all came to a head when girls found themselves excluded from normal activities by school regulations

Yes, it's just impossible:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lZUOVPfXIsI/UU36o7WkgZI/AAAAAAAABD8/xaqECaXwjDg/s1600/afghan+women+practic...

Seriously tho, there are plenty of school kids down my local climbing wall who wear hijabs and take part without it affecting them. Perhaps France is just less tolerant than there?


> So that's the background of the headscarf affair in France, in answer to your question though, even if it doesn't really refer to anything I've said, I think it depends on several factors, if someone wears a scarf simply as they might a hat or any other piece of clothing obviously there is no problem, if they do it because it is imposed on them by a religion, in this case as a symbol of their inferiority compared to men, then I'd say it does make it difficult for them to live a normal free life to the full, yes.

So basically, religiously inspired headwear makes it impossible for women to work with equality alongside men. This would mean that the opinions and views of women in hijabs can't be equal to those of men, in any setting, right? This is odd, because I've worked alongside several women wearing hijabs, over a period of many years, and no one treated them less equally (other than all the normal ways in which women are treated less equally than men).

This whole symbol business is interesting. There is more than one interpretation of many symbols - what's so difficult about seeing that? A hijab could be a symbol of secondary status, or it could be one of refusing to be objectified. What gives your interpretation precedence?

So, follow up question Bruce. Have you ever had a colleague who wears a headscarf? What is your experience of this?


> However as it's pretty hard to know what the motive is any legislation would be difficult to conceive or apply which is why AFAIK no country has attempted it. The long term answer is education, of course.

An acquaintance of mine who wears the hijab got a first at Oxford. Are you suggesting she's lacking in education?
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> And yet you said the opposite just above. You said "It's a matter - to them - of decency" which implies a pretty heavy constraint on them somewhere along the line, unless you are prepared to defend the notion that the showing of women's hair (on their head!) is indecent?

This point does seem to assume that a woman can't have her own feelings about what is decent or not, without it coming from a man?

I don't feel that women's hair is indecent, and neither do many Muslims. But some do. So what?
Sir Chasm - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I'm now imagining that you regularly go to work in a mankini and nothing else.

Quite right, but as a Borat impersonator it's par for the course.

> Or do cultural notions of acceptably modest clothing only become a problem for you when they're from someone else's culture?

Not really, culturally I suppose I'm CoE and I'd find it equally silly if they imposed a dress code.


Sir Chasm - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> I'm guessing that eventually I'd face some sort of disciplinary action.


> You're ignoring the possibility that their arguments for dressing like this are quite complex and modern. Unless of course you're smarter and more sophisticated than everyone who wears a hijab?

Well, if you put the complex modern arguments (from hijab wearers) we can consider them.

> Still, if you're bemused and think it's silly, why not just let them get on with it?

You'll be relieved to know I've never stopped them.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Well, if you put the complex modern arguments (from hijab wearers) we can consider them.

I imagine I've been putting broadly similar arguments. The point is, it's not "medieval", or at least it doesn't have to be.

> You'll be relieved to know I've never stopped them.

I'll sleep easy tonight.
In reply to Trangia:

This is getting really boring now. By the time this thread has finished Clarkson will be daisy fertiliser, Eastern Ukraine will be a suburb of Rostov on Don and all we'll all have converted to Scientology.

Mind you, better to argue all these passionately held beliefs on a climbing forum than actually go and act on them...
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> This was perfectly normal when I was growing up in middle England; if you went to church (as my parents did when I was small) all women covered their hair in church as a matter of routine, because of a remark of St Pauls.

Which doesn't sound any better to me, although most religions seem to go in for special garb for worship - removing shoes, special head gear for synagogues, etc. as well as separate seating for men and women in all three monotheist religions, not all Christian churches do this but the Armenians do to give one example, but given that they all believe that there is a supreme being lurking about and that after death we all carry on existing somewhere or other it should hardly surprise people that they also have such beliefs for ceremonies.

On the other hand not all impose such things for everyday life, and not all impose it more strictly on women than men. Even in a secular republic, that I hope Britain will become one day, it is likely that religion in private will still be tolerated, for transition period at least.

crayefish - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

A thread about something contravercial and low and behold I find seankenny demanding answers to questions he posed again. What a surprise :)
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> A hijab could be a symbol of secondary status

No "could" it is part of a whole system which denies full humanity to women, that's what islam does, check it out, moves toward modernising islam have failed and the present trend is the other way - hence all these problems we are discussing, they have nor arisen in a political vacuum.

> Have you ever had a colleague who wears a headscarf?

No

> An acquaintance of mine who wears the hijab got a first at Oxford. Are you suggesting she's lacking in education?

Yes. But not instruction.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Perhaps France is just less tolerant than there?

Yes, France is less tolerant of the oppression of women, certainly on the legal front, but that doesn't mean there is less of it. On the contrary it may well be that the level of machism, the level of violence that some women are submitted to, is what inspires the legislator to do what it can to help women. Personally I rather approve of this, you don't, we'll just have to beg to differ.

Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> This point does seem to assume that a woman can't have her own feelings about what is decent or not, without it coming from a man?

Funny that you and a few others seem convinced that it is men who are behind all this as if women themselves can do nothing to fight for their rights... fortunately many can. They don't all accept male imposition of dress codes, arranged marriage, their right to vote being purloined by their men and all the other niceties that islam and other religions try to impose.
Ramblin dave - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Funny that you and a few others seem convinced that it is men who are behind all this as if women themselves can do nothing to fight for their rights... fortunately many can. They don't all accept male imposition of dress codes, arranged marriage, their right to vote being purloined by their men and all the other niceties that islam and other religions try to impose.

The thing is, as far as I can tell, myself, Sean and Toby are all entirely supportive of a woman's (or anyone else's) right to wear what they want without the risk of being victimized for it. I'm not sure why you keep assuming that we aren't.

What we don't agree is that the best way of achieving this is to tell women that they aren't allowed to wear certain things whether they want to or not in case they're being coerced into doing so.
Post edited at 14:07
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Exactly, and Bruce doesn't want to acknowledge that laws like the French burqa ban have been produced by centre-right and indeed centre-left governments at a time when they are feeling huge pressure from anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant forces on the populist- (and traditional far-) right.

Of course there is a feminist argument for legal restrictions on Muslim women wearing a headscarf or face veil it's just not a very convincing one in liberal democracies, and that's not the sole or maybe even the main reason why such a law got passed in France; M. Sarkozy and the UMP were also trying to fish in Mme Le Penn and the FN's waters.
ex0 - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

It's depressing that attitudes like yours are becoming more and more prevalent.

Perhaps you should consider that the women you're attempting to stand up for (if that's what you can call it, it's some bizarre attempt at calling Muslim women victimized, anyway..) simply do not feel the way that you do about the choices they make in regard to their religion or the clothes that they wear.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> The thing is, as far as I can tell, myself, Sean and Toby are all entirely supportive of a woman's

It's rather hard to believe this though or you would surely at least be aware of the power of family and peer group pressures on people rather than disingenuously insisting that women are simply making a "free choice" on this the most visible part of the oppressive iceberg.

I've asked several times with no reply how you (collectively) stand on excision. This practise is usually carried out by women on their children and it is often encouraged and condoned by the female members of those who do it, so would you also say we should leave them their "free choice" too? As I'm sure your answers will be "no" then how can you insist that such questions are as simple as you pretend?

Finally, as quite a few countries have democratically voted laws which go against your views and these laws are massively supported by the populations concerned, including muslims, are you suggesting that they, we I should say, are all just a bunch of racists/misogynists, men or women included?
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r0x0r.wolfo - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Ramblin dave:

They've banned religious symbols at work period.

"Since 2004, it has been illegal to wear or display conspicuous religious garments or symbols – such as crucifixes, Islamic headscarfs, or Jewish Kippah's – in France’s state schools"

Bring them all back? I am assuming.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Funny that you and a few others seem convinced that it is men who are behind all this as if women themselves can do nothing to fight for their rights... fortunately many can.

Sure, some women may have been supportive of the various clothing bans in France, but as you said yourself most of the French legislature are men, so in the final call it's men doing the work.

Still, ignoring that, why should men and women together tell another member of society when she can wear a headscarf or not, particularly if the stated reason is to stop them being bossed about.


> They don't all accept male imposition of dress codes, arranged marriage, their right to vote being purloined by their men and all the other niceties that islam and other religions try to impose.

Erm, I don't accept anything on that little list either, why should I? There are pious types of all stripes that would be appalled at these things, and plenty of non-religious men who would love to control "their" women like this.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Exactly, and Bruce doesn't want to acknowledge that laws like the French burqa ban have been produced by centre-right and indeed centre-left governments at a time when they are feeling huge pressure from anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant forces on the populist- (and traditional far-) right.

I don't acknowledge it because it is not the primary cause, as you would know if you followed events in France a little more closely, it arose after a number of well publicised cases in French schools and growing militancy of conservative islam in France, and the world for that matter. The calls were more from humanists and republicans who felt that the founding principals of the Republic were being challenged. The French notion of integration was clearly failing and the trend was towards what they call "communitarism", something they like to accuse Britain, in caricature IMO, of being an example of but which they didn't want to follow. Many French see this principle as verging on separate development or apartheid.

> M. Sarkozy and the UMP were also trying to fish in Mme Le Penn and the FN's waters.

And yet it was supported by left and right in parliament.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to ex0:

Do women who are insulted, spat on, beaten, even subject to acid attacks if they try to refuse the dictate of radical conservative islam and dress like other women and live a normal free life make a "free choice"? Wake up a bit, free choice has nothing to do with it.

Outside Britain look what is going on in muslim countries, haven't you even noticed the way the civil rights that women had obtained are being challenged? I've already mentioned Iran, but take a look at the new constitution in Algeria, the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Afghanistan. Do you really think the majority of women want to go back to their old situation of inferiority? It's not what I hear them saying, and often dying for saying it.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> A hijab could be a symbol of secondary status

> No "could" it is part of a whole system which denies full humanity to women, that's what islam does, check it out, moves toward modernising islam have failed and the present trend is the other way - hence all these problems we are discussing, they have nor arisen in a political vacuum.

Bruce, you have a view of the world that is impervious to any outside evidence. I'm sure there are plenty of women who would tell you, or have written about, how their choice to wear a headscarf was theirs, wasn't something forced upon them by relatives. I'm not saying that some women aren't forced or pressured into it, but that it doesn't happen the whole time.

Now here's a thing. We were talking about Iran earlier. In my experience of visiting the Muslim world, Iran has more women working and in education than anywhere else. I'm sure I could back that up with some literacy stats, but I can't be bothered. Anyhow, why all the educated women? Well, one analysis I read suggested that the creation of female-only colleges with an Islamic ethos meant that conservative families, those in the country or who were first generation migrants to the city, were very keen to get their daughters educated. Is this going forwards, or backwards? As ever, using trite phrases like "modernisation" don't really help...


> Have you ever had a colleague who wears a headscarf?

> No

So you are telling us all about the status of men and hijab-wearing women at work, with absolutely no personal experience of it?


> An acquaintance of mine who wears the hijab got a first at Oxford. Are you suggesting she's lacking in education?

> Yes. But not instruction.

I think that is being just the tiniest bit patronising.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Do women who are insulted, spat on, beaten, even subject to acid attacks if they try to refuse the dictate of radical conservative islam and dress like other women and live a normal free life make a "free choice"? Wake up a bit, free choice has nothing to do with it.

Bruce, I - and I suspect Toby and others - are not denying that this happens. We're just saying it's not the whole story, which is somewhat more complex than you present.


> Outside Britain look what is going on in muslim countries, haven't you even noticed the way the civil rights that women had obtained are being challenged? I've already mentioned Iran, but take a look at the new constitution in Algeria, the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Afghanistan. Do you really think the majority of women want to go back to their old situation of inferiority? It's not what I hear them saying, and often dying for saying it.

Agreed. However there is the tricky issue that some women demanding their rights also happen to be wearing headscarves. How can that be, if the scarf is simply a symbol of doe-eyed obedience?
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I've asked several times with no reply how you (collectively) stand on excision. This practise is usually carried out by women on their children and it is often encouraged and condoned by the female members of those who do it, so would you also say we should leave them their "free choice" too? As I'm sure your answers will be "no" then how can you insist that such questions are as simple as you pretend?

Mutilating children is abhorrent. Funnily enough, I know plenty of Muslims who agree. Just think of it, one of "them" who has some common decency!
ex0 - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

From the following link: http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/1zyt14/women_protest_against_proposed_iraq_law_that/cfy9l...

"Iran is very different from the Arab world.. Women in Iran can essentially do anything men can do.. They can vote, they can and do hold public office, they drive, they work, there are women police, women scientists including nuclear, women bus drivers, more women in Iranian universities than men. etc. etc. Just because they are legally compelled to cover their hair in public doesn't mean women in Iran are oppressed. A scarf or even chador is nothing like burka.

edit: examples: 49% of Iranian labor force is women. 63% of Women over 25 have secondary education or better. There are even some women in Iran's Parliament and they've even previously (and currently I believe) had female vice presidents."

tl;dr you're totally deluded.
crayefish - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Which of these posts is my favourite? Hmmmmm

Eeny meeny miny mo...
In reply to crayefish:

> Which of these posts is my favourite? Hmmmmm

> Eeny meeny miny mo...

It took a while for that to sink in..
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> However there is the tricky issue that some women demanding their rights also happen to be wearing headscarves.

It's not tricky at all, in countries like Iran they have no choice, as in much of Pakistan, you surely know this? On the other hand, I'm glad you mentioned Iran, as they say, because it's a good example of how things function at different levels, on the one women are less free than under the Shah whereas in other aspects people are more free. The education system is educating a lot of women so we don't find the situation as in Saudi Arabia or, latest example of the advance of radical conservative islam, in Brunei where the sultan is going to introduce a sharia based penal code, including chopping off hand and stoning adulterers and homosexuals http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-27216798

So on the one hand they are getting the means of their liberation, on the other it is being denied, they are caught between their personal interest and the interest of supporting the Iranian revolution against imperialism. To a certain extent this explains why some young muslim women adopt the burqua, even when like in France this brings them into conflict with the law, it can be a way of rebelling against a state that they see as being the enemy of islam, they see there own interests as secondary.

In France quite a lot of those involved are converts to islam, or people who although born in a muslim family were not practising muslims, it's another way of rebelling. But for the majority of muslim women faced with the pressure of the parents and brothers, who often set themselves up as guardians of their sisters in a rather macho way, the fact that the French state and laws support their own desires to lead a normal life is great help... At least there has been very little in the way of opposition to these measures except at the level of a few extremist imams, all men of course.

> So you are telling us all about the status of men and hijab-wearing women at work, with absolutely no personal experience of it?

The old forum trick of saying if you haven't experienced it you can't understand, well I haven't experience murder or excision (still no reply on this point BTW) but I still have a good idea what my opinion is! Anyway there are very few scarf wearing muslims in French offices, I stopped office work to bring up the kids when our last one was born 20 odd years ago and this whole problem did not exist, no burquas, no head scarves in schools or anything of the sort, it has all been artificially manipulated since then. There were already many muslims, mostly from N Africa, in France but they just lived like everyone else, political islam had not yet started it's divisive work, which is why I don't go for your "it's all their own idea" line, how come they didn't have this idea back then, when for most of them they were much nearer their installation in France?

As for most things it's not spontaneous.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Mutilating children is abhorrent. Funnily enough, I know plenty of Muslims who agree. Just think of it, one of "them" who has some common decency!

I'll ignore the last sentence which cannot be justified by anything I have posted, but as they and you think it's abhorrent, how do you reply to those women and men who don't, why can't the use your line about it being their "free choice"?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to ex0:

> tl;dr you're totally deluded.

What am I deluded about? Read my reply to Sean just above. But I don't have quite such a rosy view of Iran concerning women as you do.. try this article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27099151

To quote:

"Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged equal opportunities and rights for men and women, and condemned sexual discrimination.

In a speech marking Women's Day, Mr Rouhani criticised "those who consider women's presence society as a threat" and said Iran still had "a long way to go" to ensure gender equality"

Ramblin dave - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> I'll ignore the last sentence which cannot be justified by anything I have posted, but as they and you think it's abhorrent, how do you reply to those women and men who don't, why can't the use your line about it being their "free choice"?

I'd agree with Sean that it's abhorrent.

The same "free choice" arguments don't apply to FGM primarily because the person on whom it is inflicted doesn't have any choice in the matter.

It's also significant that causing permanent physical mutilation is in a different league from a choice of clothing in terms of the damage done by the act itself.
Post edited at 18:19
Timmd on 07 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> So it came natural to you, did it? You appear to forget I've been reading your posts for years, they give a pretty fair insight into what you think, do they not?!

It gives an insight into what I think as far as what I've posted goes, and my political leanings to some degree, but only as far as that.

> This is a fine example, you think that there are no critical independent journalists in Russia, but appear convinced that the same is not true in Britain... then tell me you haven't been taught to hate all your life... It beggars belief.

Huh? Are you telling people what they think again?

I didn't post that there aren't any critical independent journalists in Russia, go and read my post again. I asked if journalists who are critical keep being murdered, whether the main TV broadcaster is going to be independent. If you look again at the difference between what I posted, and what you said I posed, I think it make's it rather questionable, how accurate your picture of what I think is.

> Really? Are you sure of that?

I badly phrased things, I actually think journalists have to be very very very brave to be openly critical of Putin and those with power in Russia.

> And Britain does? Take a look at the vocabulary used in the reporting of Ukraine in your free press, when it was pro-Western rioters building barricades, beating people up, lobbing petrol bombs and bricks at the police and occupying by extreme violence public buildings, then compare the vocabulary used when people in Eastern Ukraine do similar things, albeit on a much reduced scale... are you so brain washed that you don't even notice the difference.

It's subjectively phrased, I agree.

> Over 30 people died last night in Odessa, burnt or suffocated in a building they were taking refuge in... How much "shock/horror" is there to be seen in the British press? How many condemn the Nationalist football hooligans that were at work last night? How much sympathy for the dead and their families?

> Compare also the vocabulary used when the previous regimes forces were fighting against those occupying Maidan square and that used to describe the present regime's use of not only police but the actual army with helicopter gunships, armoured cars and tanks now... Don't you notice the difference even and yet Ianoukovytch didn't use the army against the people, two governments but totally distorted pictures, in your free press.

> PS. Did you look at the video I linked above? Doesn't it shake your certainties even just a little bit? Here's another, from the British state media again, not those nasty Ruskies:


What certainties would they be? Are you assuming what I think again? As far as I'm aware, on here I've just posted about how likely I think it is that Russian soldiers are (or have been) in Ukraine in plain green uniforms (and by implication Russia is engaged in making Ukraine less stable).

Possibly, you may be forgetting that people in Britain can use the internet to find out what's going on just like you can do.

If people in Britain have a different point of view to yourself, about what's happening in Ukraine, don't assume it's always because of media bias within the UK.

It's not Russia I have a problem with, as you seem to assume, it's Putin. He's barely done an honourable thing for the whole time he's been in power (or anything positive for Russia). Other than his intervention in Syria, which seems like a good thing.

The Russian economy is being maintained by their reserves of oil, but otherwise is doing rather flatly, with Gazprom being made up of previously private companies which were reclaimed by Putin, after he jailed their owners on tax charges, in history books in Russian schools it is taught that Britain appeased Hitler until Russia joined WW2, and he's made it much much more difficult for GLTB people in Russia, and whatever one thinks about the validity of Russia's claim on the Crimea, it's come under the control of Russia via the barrel of the gun. Somebody has even being been tried and found guilty in a Russian court after they've died over alleged tax fraud. Under Putin and the Russian PM, the country has become at times a deeply sinister place to live (yes, there are sinister things in all countries, including Britain, but this is about why I dislike Putin).

Note, again, that it's not Russia the country I've a problem with, or 'Ruskies' as you put it...
Post edited at 20:31
stroppygob - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

I'm amazed that so many here are prepared to argue for the medieval stupidities of a religion.
seankenny - on 07 May 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

That's not exactly what we are arguing for tho, is it?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to TobyA, seankenny et al:

> Exactly, and Bruce doesn't want to acknowledge that laws like the French burqa ban have been produced by centre-right and indeed centre-left governments at a time when they are feeling huge pressure from anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant forces on the populist- (and traditional far-) right.

> .... M. Sarkozy and the UMP were also trying to fish in Mme Le Penn and the FN's waters.

As I said, education is the answer to this sort of problem so I will do my best to educate you. This is not a recent reaction to the rise of the extreme right, it has been going on for far longer actively and some trace it back to 1905 and the law on the separation of religion and the state! Here are some links from Wikipedia, the first appears to be translated from the French version, but curiously some words are wrongly translated but the overall gist is similar.

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voile_islamique_dans_les_%C3%A9coles_en_France
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_scarf_controversy_in_France

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ban_on_face_covering

The first cases were in 1989 and the problem has dragged on from there under left and right until finally the law was voted under Chirac in 2004. The arguments are given for and against so I won't bother copying and pasting them, besides I have given most of them already but less completely.

The second law concerning the burqua was voted 2011 under Sarkozy. The debates split both left and right - for example Sarkozy was against a law at first during the first debate, and Humanité published articles critical of the need for a law at first too. So, Toby, putting it down to an opportunistic reaction to the rise of Ms Le Pen is way off the mark.

The articles go into what they see as the difference between what the French love to call the "Anglo-Saxon" "communitarist" approach (encouragement of different communities remaining separate and marrying internally) and their method of "integration" of immigrants populations into a more uniform socially egalitarian Republic. I touched on this above but I'm not convinced myself that it is quite so deliberate as the French would have it, even though this debate seems to highlight attitudes which appear to corresponds to the French stereotype of British attitudes.
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

And yet Putin is very very popular in Russia, so the Russian people don't agree with you, they mostly agree with Putin... Who's better placed to judge, you or the Russian people?

As for the rest of your post, most of it simply confirms your anti-Russian prejudices, assuming you believe what you post... at least you don't appear to have much sympathy for the Soviet or Russian peoples and yet their history has not been an easy one, and doesn't look like it is going to get any easier if Obama and his European lackeys have anything to do with it. Do you really want to be counted amongst them?
Bruce Hooker - on 07 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> That's not exactly what we are arguing for tho, is it?

It looks very much as if you are, at least you use the same "arguments" as those conservative islamists who are "prepared to argue for the medieval stupidities of a religion".
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> And yet Putin is very very popular in Russia, so the Russian people don't agree with you, they mostly agree with Putin... Who's better placed to judge, you or the Russian people?

Exactly the opposite to what you say about Muslim women. Why do Russians get their choices respected but British or French Muslim women not get theirs in your world?
stroppygob - on 08 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

Yes, you are Sean. You have argued that women within Islamic families may be happy to have to be subjugated, treated as less than second class citizens, and to conform to the rules of that medieval tradition. Whereas anyone who has the slightest inkling of psychology and religion will tel you that there is little or no choice for those indoctrinated under such a belief.

But still, if you think women in Islam are happy to go around as "walking coffins", to be forbidden to have all the rights and freedoms that feminists in the UK have long fought for, so be it
Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> Why do Russians get their choices respected but British or French Muslim women not get theirs in your world?

You just refuse to see the reality, don't you? Most muslim women in France don't want to adopt medieval dress codes, and looking out the window, figuratively, in Britain they don't in Britain either - I'm in Britain at present. In Finland have the majority of muslim women adopted the burqua?


PS. Have you read the articles? Do you still say these new laws are motivated as you said yesterday? Did you notice the arguments given by Fadela Amara, ex president of "Ni Putes ni Soumise" and minister under Sarkozy, despite being on the left of the political spectrum - muslim origin but adamant defender of women's rights, and she's a women BTW?
Post edited at 08:21
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

By the by, I'd be interested in seeing actual figures but I suspect in the UK the majority of women who consider themselves Muslim do wear some kind of head covering, at least of the Muslim women I've met at uni and through work that was the case. Perhaps in France is the other way around, don't know.

But you are missing the point (and also of course getting another little insult in at women who do want to wear something on their head). My point is why for you are Muslim women who want to cover their hair, victims of "medieval dress codes", oppression and clearly can't make their own minds up (or need laws limiting their choices) but Russians, the majority of who rely on state controlled and censored TV for their news, able to see so clearly and have their views 'respected'?

I think the voting choices of Russians should be respected, but I also think that Muslim women who make their own choices should also have those choices respected by others, rather than belittled and told that they can't understand their own best interests.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Have you read the wikipedia articles? They answer better than I can, and as I've done so several times already what is the point in repeating it? Anyway I just don't believe that you are unable to appreciate the effect of a religious upbringing and how it rather destroys the notion of "free choice", as usual you are pretending not to understand something you understand perfectly well. Nothing new on the Northern front.

So a majority of muslim women (ie. women born in muslim families) in Britain wear a burqua? Clearly nonsense, and even for head scarves I doubt it although I am possibly less adept at recognising people's religion by a glance than you are... Anyway you are certainly aware that there are different interpretations of what islam "requires" concerning this subject and also that not every women with muslim origins actually believes in all this nonsense.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> I think the voting choices of Russians should be respected, but I also think that Muslim women who make their own choices should also have those choices respected by others, rather than belittled and told that they can't understand their own best interests.

I have actually changed my mind a bit about all of this. But what about dress codes? Are religions exempt?
Timmd on 08 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> And yet Putin is very very popular in Russia, so the Russian people don't agree with you, they mostly agree with Putin... Who's better placed to judge, you or the Russian people?

He's very populist and good at fostering patriotism, yes.

> As for the rest of your post, most of it simply confirms your anti-Russian prejudices, assuming you believe what you post... at least you don't appear to have much sympathy for the Soviet or Russian peoples and yet their history has not been an easy one, and doesn't look like it is going to get any easier if Obama and his European lackeys have anything to do with it. Do you really want to be counted amongst them?

I've anti Russian prejudice which is demonstrated by my post? if the guys in plain green uniforms acting together like soldiers to help the pro Russian Ukrainians were anything other than Russian soldiers, then I'm very open to suggestions.

If you see anti-Russian prejudice in anything else I've posted, then I genuinely think you're being rather nutty.

Do some research into what it's like to be a critical journalist in Russia, and into how many journalists who have been critical have been murdered by attackers uncaught.

I now have things to get on with rather than trying to convince somebody on the internet that I don't actually think what they think I think.


Post edited at 12:11
Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> I've anti Russian prejudice which is demonstrated by my post? if the guys in plain green uniforms acting together like soldiers to help the pro Russian Ukrainians were anything other than Russian soldiers, then I'm very open to suggestions.

This whole paragraph show a clear anti-Russian prejudice, you could be Cameron speaking.

> If you see anti-Russian prejudice in anything else I've posted, I genuinely think you're being rather nutty.

Obviously you would as you don't even realise you are just repeating propaganda... for example why are you referring to them a "pro-Russian", they are Ukrainians who speak Russian, not all of them want to become part of Russia, their beef is more with those who have taken power in Kiev and who they feel threatened by.

And if you "know" that the people whose description you repeat, "men in green", are Russian soldiers then you know more than most people, including NATO and US government sources. There have been many suggestions from simple Ukranians wearing captured or bought uniforms to mercenaries working for security companies to Ukrainians holding Russian passports to actual Russian soldiers, but given that all this area was part of the same country, the USSR, until quite recently national distinctions are quite blurred.
Timmd on 08 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> This whole paragraph show a clear anti-Russian prejudice, you could be Cameron speaking.

> Obviously you would as you don't even realise you are just repeating propaganda... for example why are you referring to them a "pro-Russian", they are Ukrainians who speak Russian, not all of them want to become part of Russia, their beef is more with those who have taken power in Kiev and who they feel threatened by.

While some of them do want to be part of Russia, ie the people raising the Russian flag and calling for elections to decide their future. where is the propaganda I'm repeating there, then?

See, you're assuming what I'm thinking again, rather than asking who I'm referring to. It's enough to drive one nuts.

> And if you "know" that the people whose description you repeat, "men in green", are Russian soldiers then you know more than most people, including NATO and US government sources. There have been many suggestions from simple Ukranians wearing captured or bought uniforms to mercenaries working for security companies to Ukrainians holding Russian passports to actual Russian soldiers, but given that all this area was part of the same country, the USSR, until quite recently national distinctions are quite blurred.

I didn't say I knew, I said I thought it was likely. It's weird how you can speak two languages, but seem to read what people post on here in a slightly skewed way. Gingerkate noticed it a few years ago.

I've things to do...
Post edited at 12:40
In reply to Timmd:

Jeremy Clarkson went to Ukraine recently. Perhaps he was a man in green?

Anyway, the Russians will feel the full weight of international disapproval on Saturday night...
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Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> I didn't say I knew, I said I thought it was likely.

You said:

> > if the guys in plain green uniforms acting together like soldiers to help the pro Russian Ukrainians were anything other than Russian soldiers, then I'm very open to suggestions.

Which, in English, is fairly affirmative!
In reply to Timmd:

There is really no doubt that in Crimea Russian special forces were/are present:
"There, soldiers could be traced to particular Russian special forces units thanks to their equipment or, in one case, a name tag left accidentally on a flak jacket... 'In Crimea, we were seeing men in modern, matching Russian uniforms with modern Russian equipment, being driven around in Russian military vehicles with Russian military licence plates. We are not seeing that in eastern Ukraine,' said Matthew Clements, a senior analyst at IHS Jane’s, the security consultancy."
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/05e1d8ca-c57a-11e3a7d4-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3182JNKiQ
There is lots of evidence that the better organised units in East Ukraine are also Russian (same soldiers were seen in Russian special forces uniforms in Georgia a few years ago for example) but they are going to greater lengths there to bolster deniability. FWIW my Russian friends say in many cases when you hear the 'little green men' talk on TV there is no doubt they are Russians from Russia.
ERH - on 08 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Always knew it as "catch a tinker by the toe"... offensive to travellers?
Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> We are not seeing that in eastern Ukraine,' said Matthew Clements, a senior analyst at IHS Jane’s, the security consultancy.

My underline, but your sentence... so we are or we aren't? At the time it was pointed out by many that uniforms and badges were freely available for the sort of geeks who like that sort of thing but also given that Crimea had some enormous and perfectly accepted Russian military bases it wouldn't have been hard to organise.

> FWIW my Russian friends say in many cases when you hear the 'little green men' talk on TV there is no doubt they are Russians from Russia.

Between your Russian friends and your "muslim" friends you are very well provided with solid data, just as well no one is unreasonable enough to ask you for "proof" as you love to do! None of your Russian friends are pro-Putin then? Or able to provide the average Russian take on it all though?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

According to a friend of mine in Ukraine, some of the rebels taking over strategic points used words unique to certain parts of Russia. For example, St Petersburg residents use a unique word for kerb, which was used by a rebel soldier part of a group taking over a Ukrainian airfield. Certainly cause for suspicion.

redsonja - on 08 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I know several Russian people and all of them are very opposed to what is going on in Ukraine and none of them are in any doubt that Putin is behind it
In reply to redsonja:

I'm reticent to talk to Russians about it, but my observations on VK are that Putin's popularity rose after the Crimea annexation.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> None of your Russian friends are pro-Putin then?

Not my good friends, no, one is gay and the other from Jewish background (he's a good atheist of course growing up in the USSR, but his career choices were still much curtailed by his family's 'ethnicity' as it was considered back then) - so they see how their homeland is developing through those prisms. Lots of the Russians I got to know on my Finnish course are pro-Putin though with much more 'mainstream' (for Russia) views, I guess in part because they tended to just watch Russian TV for news.

Putin said at a press conference that the uniforms could have been bought in a shop, but do you reckon if that was the case that this was where the "Ukrainian self defence groups" got the dozens of Russian military trucks, humvees and APCs as well? Journalists who were there said they saw them rolling of a Russian navy transport boat near Sevastopol, rather than out of the back lot of a local army surplus store...
Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> I guess in part because they tended to just watch Russian TV for news.

But don't forget they've had decades of reading between the lines, of all the people in the world they are best equipped for not believing all they hear... but from all sides.

> Journalists who were there said they saw them rolling of a Russian navy transport...

And you know they are telling the truth? There are so many lies said by journalists that you can't just believe them, which is why they find themselves targetted more and more. Speaking of journalists, I saw "Reporters Without Borders" quoted the other day, you may not have heard it in Finland but their founder and past General Secretary, Robert Ménard, has just been elected Mayor of Béziers with the help of guess who, Ms Le Pen and the Front National and other extreme right nasties. "He described himself publicly as a "reactionary", supporting the reintroduction of the death penalty and objecting to the legalisation of gay marriage in May 2013." to quote wikipedia.

So even the the best of all possible world reporters may not be what they seem.
stroppygob - on 08 May 2014
In reply to ERH:

> Always knew it as "catch a tinker by the toe"... offensive to travellers?

No. But I'm sure someone will take offense for them. tmmd?
seankenny - on 08 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Interesting, it appears Menard has trodden that well worn path from radical left to reactionary, mildly radical right. (Can't think who he reminds me of.)

Anyhow, since when does one journalist supporting the death penalty mean other reporters are telling lies? That's completely illogical, unless of course those journalists are reporting something you don't want to hear, in which case you'd rather smear them than consider changing your views. Giving precedence to the map, not the territory.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> But don't forget they've had decades of reading between the lines, of all the people in the world they are best equipped for not believing all they hear... but from all sides.

Ha ha! I guess you haven't met many 20 year old Russians have you?

> And you know they are telling the truth? There are so many lies said by journalists that you can't just believe them, which is why they find themselves targetted more and more.

Really? News stories from boring old Reuters that threaten your world view, so the journalist is lying?! Presumably all the film and photos were faked as well: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2576275/Shots-fired-international-monitors-refused-entry-Cri... I think you really should try and widen your news sources a little more.
In reply to seankenny:

> Interesting, it appears Menard has trodden that well worn path from radical left to reactionary, mildly radical right. (Can't think who he reminds me of.)

Ba bom! Tish! Sean will be here all week ladies and gents! And don't forget to tip your waitresses.

:-)

seankenny - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Actually, Toby, I was thinking of Frank Furedi. Tsk.
seankenny - on 08 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Ha ha! I guess you haven't met many 20 year old Russians have you?

Who knows what sites Bruce lingers on:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/completely-unexplainable-russian-dating-site-pictures



In reply to seankenny:

Number 8 looked pretty good to me...
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce - in the transcript of Putin's call-press conference last month he openly admits Russian troops were sent in to Ukraine to 'stabilise' Crimea and to arrange the referendum.

MARIA SITTEL: We have a text message on our programme’s website: “Who were these young men, after all? They looked a lot like Russians.”

VLADIMIR PUTIN: What young men?

MARIA SITTEL: Those polite young men.

KIRILL KLEYMENOV: The “little green men.”

VLADIMIR PUTIN: I have already spoken about this publicly on several occasions, perhaps not loud enough. However, in my conversations with my foreign colleagues I did not hide the fact that our goal was to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will. And so we had to take the necessary measures in order to prevent the situation in Crimea unfolding the way it is now unfolding in southeastern Ukraine. We didn’t want any tanks, any nationalist combat units or people with extreme views armed with automatic weapons. Of course, the Russian servicemen did back the Crimean self-defence forces. They acted in a civil but a decisive and professional manner, as I’ve already said.
Bruce Hooker - on 08 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

Why do you believe these journalists, none of whom shared their "information" with the French press or the BBC BTW, but not others who didn't report this? Selective vision?
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

Well if Putin said it then it must be true, as I said just above it was easy enough in Crimea as there were several large Russian military bases there. Maybe they should help in Ukraine as well then?

PS. 20 year old Russians have older parents or do you think they are produced in test tubes by wicked scientists? If this proves that the majority of Russians are against the present government who votes for them? My information is that he is popular, and more and more so, but it's true that I don't know any 20 year old Russian boys...
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I just had a look at your Daily Mail link and the convoy is in fact taking troops from somewhere in Ukraine to the Russian bases in Crimea dated the 8th March so it is nothing to do with the "men in green" seen later on alongside local militia occupying buildings, which is what was under discussion. The Russians had a lease agreement for these bases and a treaty which allowed them several thousand, 10 or 20 IIRC, troops in Crimea and this since the independence of Ukraine. You should beware of the Daily Mail as many on ukc remind us daily, it is not averse to misrepresenting the facts, like you.

So this report and the photos may well show Russian troop movements in Ukraine, and with a police escort, but they don't prove how they were used or if they were used.
woolsack - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

Wow, Clarkson to Putin in 590 posts. Whodathoughtit?
Trangia - on 09 May 2014
In reply to woolsack:

It requires skill to start such a thread....
seankenny - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Trangia:

>>>bows low

We are not worthy.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Why do you believe these journalists, none of whom shared their "information" with the French press or the BBC BTW, but not others who didn't report this?

You really don't seem to have any idea how the media works Bruce. You don't think the Daily Mail had a photographer in Crimea do you? It even says copyright AP in the corner of the photo!

> Well if Putin said it then it must be true

OK, well I'm glad Vlad has managed to convince you (of course the Russian Foreign Ministry website could all be a complicated CIA pysops effort... but I want to believe!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbBX6aEzEz8 ).
Post edited at 08:32
In reply to TobyA:

The big issue is not whether Russian soldiers were in Crimea, it's whether they're in Donetsk now.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> The big issue is not whether Russian soldiers were in Crimea, it's whether they're in Donetsk now.

Exactly. Although as this was all part of the same country until a few years ago it is difficult for people like us who are used to well defined and age old borders to appreciate. In the USSR people born in Kiev or Minsk just thought of themselves as Russian, often more than the actual Soviet Republic they came from. I knew a "Russian" teacher at that time who presented herself as Russian but from her CV she was actually from Minsk, didn't stop her calling herself Russian though.

The truth of the matter is that all these events are secondary waves of the great earthquake which was the collapse of the USSR. This happened in haste and with little in the way of thought, negotiation or tidying up of the loose ends. Now that the implosion has finished and the Russian Federation is getting back on it's feet again they, and people who still feel Russian outside the Federation, want to do a bit of tying up. There would be nothing dramatic about it if so many people weren't trying to take advantage.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> You really don't seem to have any idea how the media works Bruce.

Obviously not your excellency from whom derives all wisdom.

> You don't think the Daily Mail had a photographer in Crimea do you?

The Daily Mail does add a little touch of its own though, don't you think? Which is why it is so popular on ukc. None of which lets you off the hook for pretending that this article and the convoys were showing the "little green men" timmd referred to at work. As usual you just assumed no one would check out the link... all a bit naughty. On the subject of naughty, you haven't answered to my question concerning excision or reacted to the articles about the true origins of the two French laws yet. I suppose you can't really find an adequate reply.

When Fadela Amara says "The veil is the visible symbol of the subjugation of women, and therefore has no place in the mixed, secular spaces of France's state school system." for example, is this a sign of her "swing to the right" too?
Postmanpat on 09 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:


> The Daily Mail does add a little touch of its own though, don't you think? Which is why it is so popular on ukc.
.
What do you mean?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I said above that of course there are feminist arguments against religious face covering and indeed against just hair covering, I know a number of what people like Stroppygob would probably call 'radical feminists' who would readily support legislation against hijabs and headscarves and of course against burqas. I just find the logic of those positions illiberal, like I do with yours, and not the correct policy for liberal democracies. Over a decade+ since 9/11 there have been all sorts of laws that have gone through European legislatures in a background of suspicion of immigrants generally and of Muslims in particular, and the French laws are no exception to that. Just like imprisoning asylum seekers in the UK or the Danish marriage laws, each individual case will have different origins, and different paths, but most European countries have seen the rise of populist right parties and fear of Islam. All parties have adapted to that.

On the little green men, the term was used immediately the unflagged soldiers turned up in Crimea. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26532154 Have a read of this interesting analysis for example http://anthropoliteia.net/2014/03/31/little-green-men-russia-ukraine-and-post-soviet-sovereignty/ This was all many weeks before the current problems in Donetsk region and around.

If you are really interested and I suspect you aren't really unless it supports what you already believe, some of the most convincing techy-military analysis I've seen suggests that they are not regular Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine, as their weapons, equipment and lack of training shows while the same things identify the Crimea green men not just as Russian but by the specific units of the Russian military that they come from.
Cf. http://www.suomensotilas.fi/en/artikkelit/crimea-invaded-high-readiness-forces-russian-federation and http://www.suomensotilas.fi/en/artikkelit/easter-bunnies-are-hobbyist-and-reservists
tlm - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

The thing is, Bruce, is that not all muslim women are the same. They are individuals and have different reasons for doing things. Have you spoken to many muslim women, or read much written by muslim women?

http://faithinfeminism.com/the-hijab-is-an-expression-of-my-feminism/
http://theday.co.uk/opinion/why-i-believe-in-the-right-to-wear-the-veil.html
http://www.femagination.com/2290/conversation-with-muslim-women-about-covering-hijab-niqab-or-nothin...

There is loads more out there if you are actually really interested in knowing how muslim women think and feel...
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I knew a "Russian" teacher at that time who presented herself as Russian but from her CV she was actually from Minsk, didn't stop her calling herself Russian though.

Huh? So she was probably Russian! Hardly rare for people in Belarus. I've got Estonian friends who are "Russian". My mate was born in Transnistria but with Russian parents he was always simply Russian. But then my friend a born and bred Moscowvite was always a Jew before being a Russian, despite being from a family that hadn't been actively religious for a couple of generations. I really think your rose tinted view of the Soviet Union massively underplays the importance of sub-Soviet nationality, which was after all central to the collapse of the USSR.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> If you are really interested and I suspect you aren't really unless it supports what you already believe,

Ooooh! That's so hard! Actually I read this sort of thing at the time too, semi-private militias and security firms. I also read that the same were active on the other side too along with the extreme nationalists, the collapse of the USSR left a lot of people looking for work and with very particular skills. Not new though, remember that Bob someone who invaded a whole island in the Indian Ocean?

To further your education about France's murky past try googling "barbouze" or "SAC", what went on back then, around the time of the Algerian war of independence, makes Putin look like a C of E vicar.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> The thing is, Bruce, is that not all muslim women are the same.

I live in the Paris suburbs, so yes, of course. How about you? It would seem you are not aware of the changes that have taken place over the last few decades... Too young?

It's not just women though, even if I could find you a selection of quotes (I've given one above) that "proove" the opposite, muslim men also are caught up in this world wide swing toward conservatism. I have a family friend from Senegal, a black African country but one which is mostly muslim. When I first met him he was a keen Marxist, then we lost contact for a while and when we met again he'd become a keen muslim. His brother in law puts it down to him having children, although his wife is non-muslim French, but I think it is a way of reacting to the push of neo-colonialism in Africa and Asia and the way islam has become the only force opposing it.

Politically he may have a point but in practice it is making women pay a very high price. People are often prepared to let others pay for them, fundamentally islam enslaves men as much a women but in day to day life it's women that get the worst deal, even if many rationalise this, or accept the sacrifice, the martyr mentality is a way of finding solace.. not for me though.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:
> Huh? So she was probably Russian!

No idea, but Minsk is in Belarus so now she isn't if she has gone back to live there, I knew her in France when it was still all the Soviet Union.

> But then my friend a born and bred Moscowvite was always a Jew before being a Russian,

That's a fairly non-standard view for a Jew, most think of themselves as citizens of the country they live in. Only zionists put their religion before their country. French Jews, and British, would mostly be pretty miffed at the way you present things. On the other hand I do realise the strength of ant-semitism (in the popular sense) in Russia so maybe it's different there.

> I really think your rose tinted view of the Soviet Union

Choked on my coffee there! I have a rose tinted view of the Soviet Union? You'd have a job to find a quote from me which justifies this statement... or is having sympathy for them sufficient to justify the term?
Post edited at 15:11
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> No idea, but Minsk is in Belarus so now she isn't if she has gone back to live there,

Again you seem to be mixing up the idea of citizenship and ethnic nationality within the Soviet Union and in its successor states. This is why the Baltic states have all the problems with large Russian ethnic minorities, some of whom are citizens some of whom remain technically stateless.

> That's a fairly non-standard view for a Jew, most think of themselves as citizens of the country they live in.

No you completely miss the point - it's not what he felt about himself growing up but the opposite; how his country (the USSR) viewed him (I don't think he sees himself as anything other than Russian, we've watched ice hockey matches together for example where he was vocally Russian!). 'Jewish' was your nationality listed on your internal passport, just like it would say Russian, Georgian, Kazakh, Estonian etc. And for those deemed by the system to be Jewish there were certain careers which were in effect closed to you, particularly in govt. and the military. I'm quite surprised you don't know about the whole internal passport thing.
elsewhere on 09 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:
I was pretty shocked when I met somebody in ~1990 who told me he was descriminated against in the Soviet Union becuase he was German even though his ancestors emigrated to Russia at the time of Catherine the Great.
tlm - on 09 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I live in the Paris suburbs, so yes, of course. How about you? It would seem you are not aware of the changes that have taken place over the last few decades... Too young?

How kind!

I know that there are muslims caught in a swing towards conservatism and that the french law is an attempt to combat this. My point was that you are talking as though this is true for all muslims. As though making rules in one direction is any more liberating than making rules in the opposite direction, rather than allowing women to make choices for themselves.

pnharper - on 09 May 2014
In reply to elsewhere:

Happens in Gresford too. In fact in a Gresford pub a German visitor was refused service because she was German! That was in the eighties, but the same people still live in the same village.
In reply to elsewhere:

IIRC there were ethnic German communities across Eastern Europe many of whom who were targeted after the war for retribution - including being thrown out of countries where they had lived for generations. I think I remember that there was a German community in Kazakhstan, or at least one of the central Asian states, who had been exiled by Stalin from where ever they had been in the western USSR previously - Ukraine possibly. But of course that was very far from unusual for many of the national minorities of the Russian/Soviet empire who Stalin took against.
Bruce Hooker - on 09 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> rather than allowing women to make choices for themselves.

If you are seriously saying that in many muslim families girls are left to freely decide things for themselves then either you don't know many or you are being ingenuous. The same is true for boys but as they get the better deal it is less evident. My daughter had school friend who was a muslim and I still remember the way she looked at the turkey sandwich I gave her on a picnic once, quite terrified that I was giving her ham, we all had to reassure her that it wasn't ham, she had clearly been warned about what "christians" might try on her!

It was to try and even the pitch a bit and allow children to grow up in a freer environment that the law about religious symbols in schools was passed, then as burquas started appearing in the streets, unknown in France until then, it was once again decided, after a lot of thought and debate (I've posted links above) that if nothing was done things could get out of hand again.

Equality of the sexes is a major issue in France, another law to try and push change a little faster but which doesn't concern islam in particular is one that has just come into effect and which obliges political parties to present an equal number of candidates male and female. Many argue that it goes against individual freedom but then so does gender discrimination.
tlm - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> If you are seriously saying that in many muslim families girls are left to freely decide things for themselves then either you don't know many or you are being ingenuous.

I am seriously suggesting this. I agree that also, in many families they are not left to freely decide. I am saying that across the world, in all the many cultures and countries that muslims live, there is a vast range and mix in the way that things are done. A radical idea to you, I know...
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> No you completely miss the point - it's not what he felt about himself growing up but the opposite; how his country (the USSR) viewed him (I don't think he sees himself as anything other than Russian,

I knew that there was a system of "nationalities" which went beyond the frontiers of each Republic, I think it was one of Stalin's ideas, but I didn't realise it still existed in the Russian Federation. It applied to everybody though, didn't it, not just Jews? As for internal passports, I read about them alright, but in Dostoyevsky, they existed under the Czarist regime. In fact a lot of characteristics of the USSR which surprise a Westerner weren't invented by those nasty commies but were part of the Russian culture itself.

During the Victorian era and the Great Game anti-Russian propaganda was rife in Britain too, only to be strengthened after the Revolution. Now that Russia has joined the capitalist club you'd think it would be possible to have a less infantile approach to the country but clearly it's not the case.

Another couple of articles for you to ignore:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-is-good-for-business-big-oil-wall-street-and-the-pentagons-new-cold...
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-kiev-putsch-rebel-workers-take-power-in-the-east/5380866
A bit sensationalist but he could have a point about economic interest of high oil prices now that USA is a major producer again.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> I am saying that across the world, in all the many cultures and countries that muslims live, there is a vast range and mix in the way that things are done. A radical idea to you, I know...

A radical idea to islam too, there is only one God and Allah is his prophet, only one Koran and more and more one interpretation is becoming dominant, Sunnism. There are still some Shias but they too have have very similar traditions concerning women, apostasy, dress codes and so on. For all muslims the word "islam" still means "submission", everywhere.

That is the problem, the modernisation of islam that was taking place until a few decades ago has not only stopped but has been reversed. Even in countries like Algeria which won it's war of independence thanks to an FLN pledged to social progress things have been reversed and it is very difficult for any progressive muslims to make themselves heard, or even survive physically, many live in exile or keep quite.
tlm - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

There is supposedly only one god in Christianity too. However, different christians live completely different lives. The british muslim women that I am friends with would absolutely kill themselves laughing at your interpretation of their lack of autonomy! :-)

You seem to think that islam is one thing the world over and really don't recognise the variety that exists, which I find very surprising. Among 1.5 billion people in all those different countries around the world, are you really saying that you don't think there are any muslim families where girls get to make choices?

Not even that link that I sent, where the mother was explicitly saying that they allow their girls to chose if they wear the headscarf and that their daughters sometimes do wear it and sometimes don't?

You give the impression of reading very widely and of not being daft, so I find it really interesting that you manage to stick so rigidly to this idea of there only being one type of muslim family, among all the families in France, the UK, Canada, North Africa, the middle east.....
dek - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

So have any of your muslim friends married Nons?
tlm - on 10 May 2014
In reply to dek:

Yeah.
dek - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> Yeah.

How many?
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> There is supposedly only one god in Christianity too.

No, there are many christian religions with different interpretations but nearly all have modernised themselves, even Roman Catholics. All christians recognise the right to leave the religion... and anyway most who are of christian culture are not religious at all.

My neighbours are muslims and over 30 years they have changed from drinking beer in the garage to practicing their religion, all 4 children have had arranged marriages and now they even go to the mosque on Friday, no mosque even existed before.

> you manage to stick so rigidly to this idea of there only being one type of muslim family,

I don't think I've said that, just that overall conservative interpretations of islam now dominate... I find it hard to believe you haven't noticed this. The possibility of resisting in muslim countries is very limited, the murders in Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and so on prove this... How long has Salman Rushdie lived under threat? You say that now, in the family you know, the mother generously gives her children the choice but seem to ignore that 20 or 30 years ago they simply wouldn't have needed a choice, they would have dressed like everyone else and wanted to integrate rather than stand apart.
seankenny - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> If you are seriously saying that in many muslim families girls are left to freely decide things for themselves then either you don't know many or you are being ingenuous. The same is true for boys but as they get the better deal it is less evident.

I have a friend whose mother and sister both cover their hair, but she does not. Maybe this is a point of difference between Britain and France - most Muslims here come from South Asia, and South Asians will argue about anything under the sun, for hours. Disputation is a massive part of their culture, and I've been around plenty of British Muslims, men and women, who will argue about their religion and what it entails. The idea that British Muslim women aren't arguing about Islam and how they practice it is just crazy, or ignorant.

Of course, that doesn't mean coercion doesn't exist, but you have to see it in some sort of context.


>My daughter had school friend who was a muslim and I still remember the way she looked at the turkey sandwich I gave her on a picnic once, quite terrified that I was giving her ham, we all had to reassure her that it wasn't ham, she had clearly been warned about what "christians" might try on her!

Erm, do you really not understand the concept of food taboos? Most British people would look askance at being given cat, or dog, or snake, or insects. People have taboos about what they will and won't eat that are deep seated and not particularly logical. Plus kids can be fussy eaters anyhow...

Anyhow, I look forward to your rants against Jewish and Hindu eating habits. Will they be coming any time soon?

I was thinking what links all the disparate bits of this thread together, and it is of course fear of the "other". The black man, the Muslim woman, the gay man. So when a few days ago Stroppy told me I was arguing for a conservative horrible old religion, and I disagreed, it was because this is what we're really talking about. Stroppy and Bruce are clearly angry and terrified by the prospect of the "other" having too much of a say in society.

Of course, since we can't tell the wogs to go home, like we could in the 1970s (tho Grouch came pretty close at one point with his love it or leave it style comments), we can turn our ire on Islam, as that's socially acceptable these days. We can project all our fears onto it, which is why Bruce and others tumble together headscarves and FGM, public piety and arranged marriages. Sikh and Hindu arranged marriages or public display of religion are barely touched upon, and with good reason: they're not today's out group of choice. The last honour killing in my part of London was Sikh, but I've never read anyone complain about that particular group.

And it's because many people on this thread are talking about the "other", articulating fears and mourning a perceived loss, rather than talking about real people, that their comments come across as simply ridiculous. The idea that any system of thought or life turns everyone into automatons is mental. Even under murderous old Soviet Communism people could think their own thoughts, live some kind of their own approach to life.

Quick edit: I'm expecting nothing but angry comments on this from those named. Stroppy in particular usually gets very heated when you make an assessment of his character based upon the words he writes.
Post edited at 12:56
tlm - on 10 May 2014
In reply to dek:

> How many?

Not every muslim woman I know is married to a none muslim. I don't know that many muslim women very well. Some muslim women would never dream of marrying a none muslim. Some muslim women would be prevented from marrying a none muslim. The strict letter of muslim law says that a muslim woman shouldn't marry a muslim man.

I'm not trying to prove that all muslim women are free to marry anyone they choose. I'm just saying that not all muslims are the same.
tlm - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> No, there are many christian religions with different interpretations but nearly all have modernised themselves, even Roman Catholics.

Oh. What about all those African religious movements, and the wild American ones? I think there's a fair bit of variety out there, Bruce.

> I don't think I've said that,

So we are agreeing that there is variety out there.

> just that overall conservative interpretations of islam now dominate... I find it hard to believe you haven't noticed this.

I've noticed many countries getting more conservative and am not sure why you think I might not have? I haven't said that all muslims are more or less anything, just that there is a wide variety and that things vary a lot from one country to the next, and even within one country.

Have you watched Persepolis? (you probably have)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808417/



seankenny - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:
o we are agreeing that there is variety out there.

> I've noticed many countries getting more conservative and am not sure why you think I might not have? I haven't said that all muslims are more or less anything, just that there is a wide variety and that things vary a lot from one country to the next, and even within one country.

Muslim countries are getting more conservative. I'm sure Bruce has noticed that over the last decade and a bit, western countries have become a bit more prone to invasion, bombing, detention without trial and torture. God forbid there could be some kind of, I don't know, cycle or something going on here...

Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

All your long post might have some value if my views were unusual but as something like 80% of people in France approved the two laws it doesn't seem to be the case. As for the "fear of the other" line it is old hat and doesn't bear scrutiny as it assumes the "other" is always right and never worthy of questioning. Britain had already fought the battles against the church and male domination of women and most of us thought they were more or less sorted, so when a part of society questions them, the place of religion and gender equality or whatever then it is quite normal to question this "other".

Your problem is you have lost your capacity or the will to judge, you refuse it for fear of something. And yet we have to judge.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to tlm:

> So we are agreeing that there is variety out there.

Err, well yes, I can't deny that, but so what?

> Have you watched Persepolis? (you probably have)

No, but I've read about it. I don't go to the cinema much these days and when I do I am usually reminded why I don't.
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

More like three decades, and the bombing and so on didn't start then. I grew up during the period of decolonisation though so the people who are swinging back to the right now were busy fighting for their independence then. What happened after was a reshuffling of the cards and imperialism (to simplify) creating new means of exercising it's power and one of them was harnessing the power of radical conservative islam. 1979 is a major date when the USA started arming islamists in Afghanistan through Pakistan. It was also the date of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which shows how the world is complex, a few kilometres apart political islam was fighting against US imperialism and for it. In neither area was it much fun for women though, but you're not to worried about that anyway.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Your problem is you have lost your capacity or the will to judge, you refuse it for fear of something.

Bollocks, sorry but simply bollocks. You're just doing the neoconservative thing of accusing those you disagree with of moral relativism. Those who were against the invasion of Iraq weren't all pro Saddam.
tlm - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Err, well yes, I can't deny that, but so what?

So we've reached a greater understanding of one another's view points.

> No, but I've read about it. I don't go to the cinema much these days and when I do I am usually reminded why I don't.

Get it on DVD! :-) It's good.

Goucho on 10 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:
Of course, since we can't tell the wogs to go home, like we could in the 1970s (tho Grouch came pretty close at one point with his love it or leave it style comments),

My comments were quite simply pointing out, that if you move to live a different country, then you have to abide by the laws of that country, and if you don't want to, then there is an obvious solution.

If I lived in certain Middle Eastern countries, I wouldn't expect to be able to walk through a shopping center with my shirt off, drinking a can of lager.

There are certain aspects to living in France which I find a pain - the bureaucracy and red tape is utterly ridiculous, but that's the law and the French way, so I have to either accept it, or reconsider living here.

Post edited at 18:57
seankenny - on 10 May 2014
In reply to Goucho:
> Of course, since we can't tell the wogs to go home, like we could in the 1970s (tho Grouch came pretty close at one point with his love it or leave it style comments),

> My comments were quite simply pointing out, that if you move to live a different country, then you have to abide by the laws of that country, and if you don't want to, then there is an obvious solution.

Well, no. It's only obvious if you have a particular view of Muslims and immigrants.

For a start, your "if Muslims don't like it, they can leave" approach instantly presumes that none of the Muslims not liking it are French, English, Dutch, etc. Obvious tosh, when you think about it. And dangerous tosh - the idea that a Muslim or any non-white person born here has another country they can up sticks and leave for is all about saying "you can't be of this country". That's why I said it's like the vilest of 1970s racism.

What about the immigrant who comes here, should they love it or leave it? Well, the vast majority of immigrants work, and taxation without representation is tyranny, right? So there's every reason for immigrants to get involved with the politics and running of the country they've moved to. My father-in-law moved to the UK in the mid-70s, he's still an immigrant but after a life spent here I'd be pretty cross with him if he didn't vote or have an opinion about how our society is organised. That's what integration means, it's about coming here and making a contribution through the mechanisms of the new country. Surely that's the "obvious" approach for Muslims who don't like a law - work to change it through legal means, protesting, debate, etc.

Of course you're thinking "well Middle Eastern countries wouldn't allow us to do that" and of course that's true. But since they tend to be tyrannies of one sort or another, they don't let their own people do that either! We're open societies, they're not.

As for you not being able to change the "French way", well I'm sure there are plenty of French businesspeople who'd agree with you. Sure, in the short term there's not much you can do about it, but that doesn't stop you being politically involved.

Incidentally, since when did telling women what to wear become the "way" of any modern European liberal democracy?





Post edited at 21:18
Goucho on 10 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> Well, no. It's only obvious if you have a particular view of Muslims and immigrants.

> For a start, your "if Muslims don't like it, they can leave" approach instantly presumes that none of the Muslims not liking it are French, English, Dutch, etc. Obvious tosh, when you think about it. And dangerous tosh - the idea that a Muslim or any non-white person born here has another country they can up sticks and leave for is all about saying "you can't be of this country". That's why I said it's like the vilest of 1970s racism.

I'm not sure whether or not you're inferring I'm a racist with this comment, but just in case you are:-

Business partner for last 15 years till we sold the company - Black (and also Gay, if that counts for extra in a game of racial and gender liberalism, children of the universe Top Trumps)
Second Wife - Black American.
Daughter - Mixed Race (second wife is her mother)
Daughters Fiance - Black.
Current Mrs Goucho - Italian

> What about the immigrant who comes here, should they love it or leave it? Well, the vast majority of immigrants work, and taxation without representation is tyranny, right? So there's every reason for immigrants to get involved with the politics and running of the country they've moved to. My father-in-law moved to the UK in the mid-70s, he's still an immigrant but after a life spent here I'd be pretty cross with him if he didn't vote or have an opinion about how our society is organised. That's what integration means, it's about coming here and making a contribution through the mechanisms of the new country. Surely that's the "obvious" approach for Muslims who don't like a law - work to change it through legal means, protesting, debate, etc.

80% of the French population voted for the banning of 'the full face veil' - that's called democracy.

> Of course you're thinking "well Middle Eastern countries wouldn't allow us to do that" and of course that's true. But since they tend to be tyrannies of one sort or another, they don't let their own people do that either! We're open societies, they're not.

Yes, there's a wonderful irony to the fact that the western countries many factions of Islam love to criticise, are the countries that accord them freedom of speech and democracy their own 'native' countries do not!

> Incidentally, since when did telling women what to wear become the "way" of any modern European liberal democracy?

When there is open, uninhibited choice for 'ALL' Muslim women regarding what they wear, their choice of education, who they marry etc etc, then the argument regarding the Hijab might take on a different and more Liberal tone.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 10 May 2014
In reply to TobyA:

> Bollocks, sorry but simply bollocks.

A clincher argument as usual, do you feel concerned too when I say they refuse to judge? You needn't though, you are even simpler, what ever Uncle Sam say you judge as being fine... dressed up with a few fancy words and half a dozen links to NGOs and such who all seem to have government departments and oil companies on their lists of benefactors, for good measure.

How do you feel about the massacre at Mariupol, you know the one the BBC is trying to cover up? I've been expecting a thread where people will express their shock/horror as they would have done if the other side had done it but 40 in Odessa now 20+ dead in Mariupol and not a squeak! Why do you think this is, some kind of "moral relativism"?
Bruce Hooker - on 11 May 2014
In reply to seankenny:

> For a start, your "if Muslims don't like it, they can leave" approach instantly presumes that none of the Muslims not liking it are French, English, Dutch, etc

You missed the point, Goucho, myself and one or two other regular posters on ukc have moved to France and think that we should accept the basic French way of life or move somewhere else, whether we were muslims or not wouldn't change this. That doesn't preclude political activity but within the basic culture. Even then when I was a militant I often got told I shouldn't "spit in the soup" as a foreigner.

Nowadays we can consider that gender equality is a given in French culture, even if it hasn't become a total reality, so considering women to be inferior to men is a major difference of opinion and anyone who can't accept this has not really chosen a sensible place to live in. To imagine he or she could turn the clock back on that one as you propose is ridiculous, and not reasonable behaviour at all.

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