The commentators 17-03-15
...on race in Britain
We do need laws to make sure we never return to the days of “no niggers, no Irish, no dogs” that consigned my parents and our family to a Rachman slum tenement. Today, I would say that most people in Britain share that opinion. But that doesn’t mean we’ve solved the problem of different cultures and traditions trying to rub along in the same space. If you are not white, you learn early in life that most people worry about mentioning your race for fear of giving offence. In this country, we rightly treasure politeness and consideration. We hate to make people feel uncomfortable. But in an increasingly diverse society it’s harder and harder to avoid the topic of difference.
- Trevor Phillips, The Times
Last week it was Clarkson and Farage’s turn in the ducking stool. This week’s witch-hunt will feature Trevor Phillips, simply for telling a number of inconvenient truths. Tune in to his documentary on Thursday and make up your own mind. Others have already decided to slaughter him without bothering to watch the programme. Still, the Guardian letters page should be a giggle.
- Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
Unless we accept the facts in front of us and stop living in a fantasy word of political correctness, we will not only make race relations worse – we will drive decent people to the far-Right, who use race to cause divisions, not to heal them.
- Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
We need a different model. One that says this house belongs to everyone in it, that we are the sum of all of us. A society that is diverse in its marrow, with no “us” who’ve been here for ever and no new “them”. In that kind of society we would speak as robustly and openly as any family speak to each other. Such candour would be the fruit of a society that had embraced diversity as its 21st-century norm. But it’s absurd to demand the fruit immediately. First we have to plant the tree.
- The Guardian
Having restored some dignity to the victims, we have yet to learn not to glorify the killer - most particularly by not according him an identity that might secure him a place in folklore. That also means avoiding describing Emwazi as Isis's "star executioner" or saying that he "features" in the group's videos.
For six months we have been providing propaganda for Isis, and sprinkling words such as "evil", "vile", "depraved" around doesn't mitigate that failing.
- Emwazi is not a folk hero, let's stop treating him as if though were
Comment archive, 2015
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Minor party leaders
Rifkind and Straw
Chelsea and racism
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