Posts Tagged ‘Illegal Immigrants’

Vox Political On May’s Grubby Plan to Turn Teachers into Border Guards

December 2, 2016

Mike yesterday also put up a piece commenting on Theresa May’s plan to use teachers as border guards in her campaign to cover up her failure to crack down on illegal immigration. Angela Rayner, the Shadow Education Secretary, had joined a number of other politicians condemning May’s plan to force schools to withdraw offers of places to the children of illegal immigrants. Rayner rightly attacked these plans as contrary to British values and impractical. She stated it was trying to turn teachers into border guards.

Mike makes the point that teachers are already overworked. It is also unfair and illegal to stop children under 16 from having an education in order to punish their parents. As for teachers demanding to see children’s passports, Mike makes the point that not all children have them. He didn’t until he first went abroad in his twenties. I first acquired a passport when I was at school – in the sixth form – to go on a school trip, so I also didn’t have one until quite late, at least by May’s standards.

And Mike also makes a point about how this reflects on May’s declaration that she is guided by her Christian faith. He thinks that this is less about Christian charity, and more about the Old Testament dictum that ‘the sins of the fathers will be visited on the children unto the third and fourth generation’. But I don’t think it’s even about that. It’s just sheer vindictiveness against the poorest and most defenceless, just to cover her own failings.

See: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/12/01/the-grubby-little-idea-that-will-tarnish-theresa-may/

Actually, there’s a bit of synchronicity here, as I read this on Mike’s site just after coming back from the first part of an Advent course held at our local church. This was an exploration of the meaning of hospitality in the Old Testament. The minister argued that hospitality has to be at the centre of Christian practice. He made the point that in the Old Testament, hospitality meant much more than it does today. Observant Jews in ancient Israel were expected to entertain and feed travellers, the poor and strangers, including foreign residents, as Abraham, the founder of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, does in Genesis when he meets the Lord and two angels. The patriarch urges them to stop by his tent, washes their feet, and his wife, Sarah, prepares a meal for them. He invites them to join him, saying that he would be honoured if they’d join him.

At the same time, the Torah – the Mosaic Law -in Leviticus commanded the people of Israel to respect and provide for the widow, the fatherless and the foreigner, ‘for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt’. During the Feast of Sukkoth, Jews were supposed to open their doors and feed widows, orphans and strangers, according to a passage in the Talmud. This is the oral, supplementary law which guides observant Jews as well as the written law revealed by Moses. The passage in the Talmud, which enjoins this states that the man, who does not open his gates to the poor during this feast, is not really celebrating it, but only his belly. And such hospitality is regarded as a mitzvah – a commandment.

It strikes me that this last statement contradicts the various Tories, who turned up during Thatcher’s tenure of 10 Downing Street, to tell us all that Christ’s remarks about looking after the poor and marginalised were all about doing so responsibly, and had nothing to do with government policy. In the context of the time, they don’t. But it’s much stronger than the voluntarism the Tories and New Labour tried to promote.

These passages from the Bible and the cultural contexts in which they are placed, such as the Talmudic laws on the correct observance of the Hebrew festivals, are a very sharp rebuttal to the current xenophobia that is sweeping the nation thanks to Brexit. And the minister leading the service said that he was very worried about the xenophobia which was rising in this country.

I realise that many of the readers of this blog are atheists. The point I am trying to make here, is that Tories don’t have a monopoly on the Jewish and Christian revelations and the Bible. And when it comes to the poor, quite often the commandments of the Bible point away from the abuse heaped on them by the Conservatives and Blairite right.

As for the duty of the wealthy to entertain the poor, this was also taken extremely serious in medieval and 16th century Britain. Great lords used to set aside sums of money so they could be seen to be feeding and supporting the poor. The prior of St. James’ Priory in Bristol, for example, fed 100 beggars at the priory gates every day. Similarly, one town chronicler in the 16th century lamented the burning down one gentleman’s house, because its owner was a generous man, at whose house many people were refreshed. In other words, he took seriously his responsibility as a member of the upper classes to provide for those less fortunate than himself.

Which poses an interesting question. If Theresa May wants to restore society to the quasi-feudal conditions of the 19th century, does that mean that she’s also willing to accept the feudal responsibility of feeding and clothing the poor once again? Not just through food banks, but also at the gates of their homes? Somehow, I don’t think so, no matter what she might say about the importance of charity. You can imagine the screams of rage she’d utter if 100 poor men and women turned up at her house, asking for bread.

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Secular Talk on How the New York Times Saw Hitler’s Anti-Semitism as ‘Political Cleverness’

March 6, 2016

This is another extremely interesting and very relevant piece from Secular Talk. Kulinski discusses how someone went back to the first mention of Adolf Hitler in the New York Times. The newspaper first mentions the future Fuehrer in an article of Tuesday, 21st November 1922. The piece astonishingly hails Hitler’s anti-Semitism as an astute electoral tactic, designed to get the votes of the German uneducated masses, who would be otherwise unable to grasp the subtle complexities of his real policies. The article confidents expects that once Adolf was in power, he’d drop the anti-Semitism, or wouldn’t carry out what he was threatening to do.

Kulinski draws the obvious parallel with Trump today. He makes the point that he doesn’t like comparing Trump to Hitler, as Hitler was one of the worst people ever. He feels a little more comfortable comparing Trump to Mussolini. But here the parallels between Trump and Hitler then are entirely correct and fitting. There is today a tendency to shrug off Trump’s intentions of deporting 11-12 million illegal immigrants, building a wall with Mexico, and banning all Muslims from entering the US as just a rhetorical strategy for gaining votes from the Republican electoral base, which Trump, like Hitler on the Jews, has no intention of honouring once he’s in power. And that’s before you get to his comments about bringing back torture ‘even if it doesn’t work’, and killing the families of terrorists, including women and toddlers. Kulinski advises not to take the chance. ‘If you do take the chance, it doesn’t work out very well’.

The Young Turks: Trump Wants to Punch Protestors in the Face

February 24, 2016

More verbal thuggery from the Duce of Trump tower. In this clip from The Young Turks, Wes Clark, Steve Oh and Malcolm Feschner discuss Trump wishing for the return of the old days when a protestor is hustled out from his rally. He says that it was great back then, because he wants to punch protestors in the face. You can’t do that now, but back then they’d be sent out on a stretcher. The TYT panel talk about how Trump is always keen to incite violence at his rallies, though less eager to engage in it himself. What Trump describes isn’t quite the good old days. That was when the police beat and turned fire hoses on people. While it goes down well with his supporters, it doesn’t appeal to the great American public. They state that the classic example of that was at the 1968 Democratic convention, when the cops rioted and began beating the anti-war protestors.

They also point out that Trump wants to appoint a force to go door to door, checking for illegal immigrants. They ponder it’s bizarre appeal to his supporters, who have a fear of state violence. In fact, one of them says that actually they’re really hoping that they’ll get the call to join Trump’s forces. It’s the same type of mob mentality that saw the rise of the Fascist militias in the former Yugoslavia, and the Brownshirts in Nazi Germany. Absolutely. In the 1920s, when the Communists and Nazis were running around the streets of Weimar Germany beating the living daylights out of each other, the Nazis used to sing a nasty little song. It clearly express their anti-Semitism, and ended with the line, ‘Until the Jew lies bleeding at our feet’. It’s not hard to imagine Trump’s supporters singing something similar about Muslims. Steve Oh says that Trump is a charismatic bully. He is, just like that other charismatic racist bully, Adolf Hitler.

The panel also discusses the possibility that Trump’s supporters will start appearing next at his rallies with their guns. It’ll only be a few at first, but the numbers will steadily increase.

In a lighter vein, they also talk about how the Republican primaries could be improved if Trump and the other candidates just decided to get in the ring, as at a boxing or wrestling match, and beat seven bells out of each other until a winner emerges.

More Racism by Bristol’s Kippers

February 19, 2015

Bristol’s UKIP branch got in the news recently when they complained about a school that had included them, along with Far Right groups like the National Front, the BNP and the Nazi party, in lessons about racism. They complained that they weren’t racist like the other groups. It was all a mistake and vile slander, based on the fact that they followed the Facebook pages of the BNP and EDL, and ‘liked’ some of their content.

Now they’re back in the electronic pages of Hope Not Hate with a joke put up by their Vice-Chairman, John Langley. This is about an illegal Muslim immigrant explaining to her child that democracy is the British taxpayer providing them with all their welfare benefits, and racism is when British taxpayers complain about it.

The article’s simply called Bristol UKIP Post Racist Rubbish, and it’s at: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/ukip/bristol-ukip-4278. And remember – this lot really don’t think their racist, even if they do like and follow the EDL and BNP.