Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 29 January 2010

a rambling inconsequential fool

This is a lazy sort of post, taken mostly from comments following a Mail article. One that seemed to ring true was this :-
Peter Hain is a rambling inconsequential fool.
Why would anybody feel the need to refer to Peter Hain in any way, shape or form? Does he actually do anything useful, has he ever done anything useful?

Anyhow, Hain is reported as being appalled at the 'inflammatory language' used by David Davies (the Welsh one, MP for Monmouth) who apparently said
there do seem to be some people in some communities who don't respect women's rights at all and who - if I may say, without necessarily saying that this is the case on this occasion - who have imported into this country barbaric and medieval views about women.'
David Davies felt the need to say this when referring to a particularly nasty rape case, in which 13/14 year old Balal Kahn* repeatedly raped a 20 year old woman in front of his friends - who presumably thought it was an okay thing to do otherwise they'd have stopped him.

This lovely young chap has been sentenced to 3 years 'because of his age and because he said "sorry" '. David Davies would like the sentence reviewed and was explaining his opinion on Radio 5 Live.

The Mail says critics described the remarks as 'dangerous'.

It must have been quite difficult to find people willing to openly criticise David Davies, because only Hain and one other individual are mentioned by name :- 
Professor Heaven Crawley, of the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University, Mr Davies showed 'a crass misunderstanding of gender relations and why rape happens', adding that there were 'plenty of barbaric and backward' attitudes among men in all sorts of communities, including white British.
Professor Crawley** has studied things like this, she teaches them too, but her words don't go down well with readers of the Mail who say :-
How on earth can these few words be "dangerous"
Dangerous - maybe because the people being criticized could get cross and take to the streets?

Another comment asks :-
Can someone, anyone out there please explain to me why it is "deeply offensive" to tell the truth. Surely the whole point here is that, this character is a blot on the human race, and no one should be standing up for him regardless of race or religion
Good point! "Truth" appears to be relative to an individual's physical appearance, personal background and theology. There was a time when justice was blindfolded and punishment was meted out solely in relation to the crime committed. These days there seem to be many, many excuses for wrongdoing, and that's what's making some people quite angry.

Another comment reaffirms this view :-
This proves that if your opinion does not fit in with the so called "acceptable" rules, laid down by the political elite, you must never,ever,express them.
There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, by certain sections of the population of this country, and they seem to be able to say whatever they like, no matter how inflammatory.
It's hard to argue with any of this. All too often anybody who disagrees with either the "establishment view" or the opinion of vociferous pressure groups is called rude names - and is prevented from seeking redress because the powers-that-be say they can't, because they don't belong to a group that is classed as being the underdog. It would seem that there are groups of people who have been effectively disenfranchised because they are 'ordinary'.

It's seems a pity that the Conservative Party is reluctant to open the debate because they disown Davies' comments saying they
'do not reflect the views of the party in any way'.
Talk about giving votes away!

It really is time that the high-ups in all political groups started listening to the opinions of those they are supposed to represent - all the people they are supposed to represent, not just those who are able to belong to pressure groups due to race, ethnicity or creed.


Balal Kahn will, by the way, be 17ish at the end of any sentence. Perhaps that small fact is enough to realise why David Davies would prefer a longer sentence.

Oh, and here's a bit more about Professor Heaven Crawley from Swansea :-

PhD, Oxford University (1999), MA Gender and Development, Institute of Development Studies (1994), BA (Hons) (First Class), University of Sussex (1992) 

"I teach a Level 3 undergraduate module on 'Geographies of forced migration and asylum' (GEG343). I also co-ordinate the MSc in Migration and International Development, which is taught in collaboration with the Centre for Development Studies. In addition I contribute to the following modules:
GEG105 Global Shifts: Towards a New World Order
GEG250 Geographical Research Methods
GEG332 Dissertation Support
GEG252 New York fieldcourse
SSRM11 Contemporary Research in Human Geography 

I am a member of the Migration, Boundaries and Identities Research Group , Director of the Centre for Migration Policy Research and Postgraduate Admissions Tutor for the Geography Department"

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