Sunday, October 30, 2005

European Culture wars

They do things differently in France. Here’s Liberation [17 October] quoting the law passed on 23 February laying down the history of France that has to be taught in its schools.

"Les programmes scolaires reconnaissent en particulier le rôle positif de la présence française outre-mer, notamment en Afrique du Nord, et accordent à l'histoire et aux sacrifices des combattants de l'armée française issus de ces territoires la place éminente à laquelle ils ont droit."

A rough translation:

The school syllabus will recognize in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, in particular in North Africa, and accord to this history and the sacrifices of soldiers of the French Army in these territories an eminent and deserved place.

So, in France history is what the government says it is. Time to re-read 1984.

I came across a reference to this in No Pasaran

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Dorset Fire Authority snubs fire chief’s attack on BNP

Dorset Fire Service has rejected an attempt by its chief fire officer to initiate a programme of action that would have resulted in the dismissal of any officers who were members of the British National Party.

“Current legal advice indicates that it is not yet possible to dismiss an employee for being a member of the BNP, ” the rejected statement lamented.

Authority Members yesterday unanimously voted to withdraw this statement which had also attempted to commit the authority to support legislation to have members of the Fire and Rescue service treated in the same way as the Police.

It is not thought that there is a single member of the BNP in the Dorset Fire Service.

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law had lobbied the Authority against the statement arguing that all officers should be judged by their actions and not by their protected political beliefs.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: "It’s not much fun when defending freedom means defending the human rights of BNP members but we all have a responsibility to do this. The alternative is a society run by much more dangerous thought crime commissars.”

The way it is:

Fire Service’s BNP ban goes up in smoke Daily Echo 25 October 2005

The way it was:

BNP members 'not wanted' by fire service news. telegraph 22 October 2005

Sunday, October 23, 2005

BNP reportage pours oil on troubled Handsworth

The British National Party's[BNP] triumphant headline Race riot erupts in Handsworth had in pride of place a burnt out car with the tag Asian driver was burnt alive in this vehicle.

The ‘on the spot’ BNP correspondent Sharon Ebanks reported "in the worst incident of the night, a taxi cab driven by an Asian was surrounded, then set alight with the Black gang cheering as the driver was consumed by the flames.”

Ms Ebanks the failed BNP parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Erdington was no doubt as a responsible community leader trying to pour oil on troubled waters. Her ‘on the spot’ observations were no doubt confirmed for her by the report in The Independent which said “One report said the dead man had been inside a burning taxi, which had possibly been petrol bombed” and another in the Sunday Telegraph stating “Unconfirmed reports said another man also died when a minicab was set alight.”

The BNP boasts that more people look at its website than that of any other political party in the UK. It no doubt took full advantage of this to publish its take on the events in Handsworth on Saturday.

It will be interesting to see how long Ms Ebanks' report is allowed to remain on the BNP website.

October 25 update

BNP sticks to discredited rumours

The BNP has not only continued to stand by their [23 October] claim that an Asian taxi driver had been burnt to death:

“… in the worst incident of the night, a taxi cab driven by an Asian was surrounded, then set alight with the Black gang cheering as the driver was consumed by the flames.”

but has now developed this with a claim [24 October] that there is a conspiracy by the media to hide this from the public.

“… it appears the media are trying to downplay the death of an Asian taxi driver who was petrol bombed in his car on Saturday night by a black mob and burnt to death. This death of the taxi driver was first reported in the Sunday Mercury newspaper which is the main Birmingham weekend newspaper.“

Checking with the Mercury news desk it transpired that in the heat of the action the paper had reported:

"...Meanwhile the Lozells area was awash with rumours that an Asian taxi driver had died after being turned into a human torch in his car after being surrounded by a baying mob.”

This was modified in the report with the cautionary statement

“ Last night West Midlands Police confirmed there had been one fatality but was unable to shed any light on a possible second."

By Sunday it was quite clear to absolutely everyone that these rumours were false. There was no human torch and no dead taxi driver.