Breaking Broken Britain

September 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm (Anti-Racism, immigration, Islam, Max Dunbar, Tory scum)

If Britain has an official narrative it’s of the Great Decline. This once great nation degenerated into a Third World country where the good are paralysed by political correctness and the lazy and evil live high on the sweat of the few remaining working men. The story of how we went from the spirit of the Blitz to a selfish, hedonistic wasteland has captivated highbrow conservatives, policy units and libertarian bloggers alike. In some ways this miserable romance has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It has hardwired self-pity, parochialism and resentment into the UK’s political discourse. It’s a climate where mainstream newspapers publish the most fantastical conspiracy theories and incitements to racial hatred while clerics make high-profile pronouncements about the End Times like doomsayers wailing in the street.

A key part of the Great Decline narrative is immigration. The hatred for immigrants in our culture has now become a national pathology. Migrants in reality tend to be dispossessed and vulnerable yet they are somehow responsible for taking both our jobs and our benefits, depressing wages, and destroying social cohesion. If they come from Islamic countries they are said to be imposing their native culture upon this small island. It’s this last point that Edmund Standing focuses on in his report ‘Debunking the ‘Islamisation’ Myth‘. ‘Are we now to seriously believe,’ he asks, ‘that Britain is finished because a religious minority, many of whom are poor and powerless, and very few of whom are found at the heart of our economy and our political process, has arrived on our shores?’

Standing begins by putting the Great Decline narrative in historical context, tracing it from Melanie Phillips back to earlier apocalyptics like Spengler and the Nazi theorist Max Nordeau. He then goes on to knock down the conspiracy theories of the contemporary British right. Standing takes apart the demographic basis for the Eurabia idea, and could have pointed out that it rests on the sinister fallacy that future generations will believe exactly the same things that their parents did, as if belief and culture were hammered into the genetic code.

Standing’s an atheist and considers Islam itself to be harmful and stupid. A lot of people will object to his report for these reasons alone, but for my money it’s a stronger, finer attack on the current bigotry against British Muslims than anything produced by the far left.

(Image via John Rentoul)

11 Comments

  1. Steve said,

    There is so much wrong with Edmund Standing that I do not know where to begin and cannot possibly give a full refutation here but some initial observations:

    His so called evidence only looks at one particular part of the anti immigrant ‘case’, namely to ridicule the idea that Muslims can gain power in the West. The other aspect is that the ‘decline’ in society can be blamed on immigrants. This explains the rise of the far right in Sweden, they blame immigrants for society’s problems. So the evidence he presents not only fails to answer this part of the racist’s claims but actually ends up making it for them. I can imagine the BNP putting his entire so called evidence on their website, Muslim nations are failed states, Muslims live in the most deprived areas of the UK, most Muslims are unemployed, Muslims are in-breds, their culture creates inferior humans etc etc bloody etc.
    He says, “In the future, both ‘traditional’ Muslims and more fanatical Islamists could increasingly be adversely affected by their self-chosen isolation from the wider gene pool of Britain.”
    and
    “For example, self-imposed ghettoisation on religious and cultural lines will have to be rejected”
    Imagine if he said that about Jews!! Actually this is what the Nazi’s did say about them!!

    His analysis is based on the idea that we shouldn’t worry about Muslims because they are weak and downtrodden!! Which ends up making a virtue about this. He is saying to the racists as long as these people are kept from power and kept downtrodden we have nothing to worry about. He is saying yes given power we should fear these people but they don’t have it so the fear is irrational.

    I also think he fails to grasp that Islamophobia is a top down prejudice, linked to the war on terror. He mentions the Daily Star poll, ‘Is Islam taking over Britain’ and then attempts to explain why many readers assume it is. I reject this, I don’t think people really think that but the poll itself is an attempt by the owners of the Daily Star to create the impression of Islam taking over Britain. He mentions this desire to believe in Islamisation but I don’t see any desire just attempts by certain forces (including him!!) to create that desire.

    He sets up so many straw men that it becomes impossible to knock them down, what a good socialist website should be doing is deconstructing it not giving it unqualified support. Again Marx is spinning, he’ll be reaching the centre of the Earth if you guys keep up this relentless level of idiocy.

    He concludes with the most sickening apology for the ruling class I have witnessed, which includes

    “Are we now to seriously believe that Britain is finished because a religious minority, many of whom are poor and powerless, and very few of whom are found at the heart of our economy and our political process, has arrived on our shores”

    Don’t worry folks as long as the boards of the richest compaies, you know those wealth producers such as Barclays, HSBC, TESCO’s are kept all white and Western we are heading headlong into a happy future.

    Then he finally finishes with the line

    “The extremists can scream their mantra ‘Islam will dominate the world’ as much as they like, but in fact it can’t, and it won’t.”

    Which shows that this article was never directed against the far right or cultural despair but at those pesky immigrants. But I had figured that out long before the end!!

    Shiraz should boycotted by all leftists for promoting this garbage.

  2. maxdunbar said,

    I’d support your boycott of these comment threads, certainly

  3. Steve said,

    “but for my money it’s a stronger, finer attack on the current bigotry against British Muslims than anything produced by the far left”

    Says a lot about you Max!!!

    I urge leftists to fully read Standings garbage and then consider the quote above from Max. Just when you thought Shiraz couldn’t get any worse they manage it!!

  4. David said,

    It’s a shame how people fight over money all the time when there is so much that can be made!

  5. Laban said,

    I’d say mass immigration is more of a symptom of decline than a cause, myself.

    And if Standing starts with the Magna Mater Melanie, he’s way off the beam. The classic account of the Great Decline is Peter Hitchens’ ‘The Abolition of Britain’.

    “Standing takes apart the demographic basis for the Eurabia idea

    Lets have a look at the top ten local authorities with the highest total fertility rates again :

    Newham
    Blackburn with Darwen
    Bradford
    Barking and Dagenham
    Luton
    Oldham
    Peterborough
    Pendle
    Slough
    Boston

    or look at the ONS Fertility by Ethnic Origin stats :

    (live births/female by age 45)

    white 1.8
    Afro-Caribbean 1.8
    Indian 2.3
    Pakistani 4.0
    Bangladeshi 4.7

    the sinister fallacy that future generations will believe exactly the same things that their parents did, as if belief and culture were hammered into the genetic code.” Note genetic straw man.

    Hah ! Andy Newman was coming out with the same nagombi the other week – an argument based on the reasonable premise that if the Brits were locking up homosexuals, imprisoning abortionists, and executing murderers only 50 years ago, with the full approval of the working class, surely there’s hope for Muslim attitudes to change as (ruling class) Brit attitudes did.

    Only one problem. You can make this cheerful argument to secular Westerners, but I wouldn’t try it on an intelligent Muslim. You’d be suggesting that Islam be – effectively – destroyed. Because what has happened in the last fifty years in the UK, the liberalisation which so pleases, is the result not of a change in Christianity, but a collapse of Christianity. People like Rowan Williams, Ekklesia and Thinking Anglicans do not represent the average Josephine in the pew of the shrinking Anglican or Catholic congregations – still less the average Olewayu in the rapidly rising black evangelical churches.

    Take your intelligent, pious Muslim. Hold up the Christian Churches in the UK as an example of what Islam could be in 50 years. Watch him laugh in your face.

    The collapse of Christian hegemony after 1600 years is

    a) the root cause of the Great Decline, as it was the root of British culture
    b) a pretty rare and unusual historic event. When future historians elsewhere look at the collapse, they’ll find in Hitchens the first evidence that some contemporary observers were both analysing causes and describing symptoms.

    How likely is it that Islam will go the same way in a similarly short timescale ? Not very, IMHO. Standing is replacing analysis with wishful thinking.

    “The hatred for immigrants in our culture has now become a national pathology”

    Nonsense. But there is a hatred for those who have lied about it for the last 30 years, and are still lying now, as in your post.

  6. maxdunbar said,

    The reactions so far are exactly as I expected.

    A far left lunatic says that we’re all Islamophobes, and a far right lunatic says that Muslims are taking over the UK.

    Does it not bother you that you’re such predictable bores?

  7. Kuching Hitam said,

    Does it not bother Max Bedroom that despite claiming to be anti-racist and mumbling vague support for No Borders groups, he promotes Standing’s toxic bile?

  8. resistor said,

    This is what the right-wing nationalist skinhead Standing thinks of people like Max,

    http://edmundstanding.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/white-liberals-and-politically-correct-racism/

    ‘The white liberal is an unhealthy type of creature that you will undoubtedly have encountered, if not in real life, certainly via the media. By ‘liberal’, I do not mean simply someone who has a generally liberal outlook, in the sense of a ‘live and let live’ philosophy, nor do I mean liberals in the sense of the classical liberals of the conservative tradition. By ‘white liberal’, I mean a white Western individual who is likely to come from a middle class background and have a university education, considers him or herself to be both ‘left-wing’ and socially ‘liberal’, and almost certainly reads The Guardian or The Independent.’

    etc etc

    This rant is worth looking at, if not reading, to appreciate what a bizarre crank and nutcase Standing really is.

  9. Oscar Lomax said,

    I am reading an interesting article on Kafka at the moment.

  10. Oscar Lomax said,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/magazine/26kafka-t.html
    By ELIF BATUMAN
    Published: September 22, 2010

    During his lifetime, Franz Kafka burned an estimated 90 percent of his work. After his death at age 41, in 1924, a letter was discovered in his desk in Prague, addressed to his friend Max Brod. “Dearest Max,” it began. “My last request: Everything I leave behind me . . . in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches and so on, to be burned unread.” Less than two months later, Brod, disregarding Kafka’s request, signed an agreement to prepare a posthumous edition of Kafka’s unpublished novels. “The Trial” came out in 1925, followed by “The Castle” (1926) and “Amerika” (1927). In 1939, carrying a suitcase stuffed with Kafka’s papers, Brod set out for Palestine on the last train to leave Prague, five minutes before the Nazis closed the Czech border. Thanks largely to Brod’s efforts, Kafka’s slim, enigmatic corpus was gradually recognized as one of the great monuments of 20th-century literature.

    The contents of Brod’s suitcase, meanwhile, became subject to more than 50 years of legal wrangling. While about two-thirds of the Kafka estate eventually found its way to Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the remainder — believed to comprise drawings, travel diaries, letters and drafts — stayed in Brod’s possession until his death in Israel in 1968, when it passed to his secretary and presumed lover, Esther Hoffe. After Hoffe’s death in late 2007, at age 101, the National Library of Israel challenged the legality of her will, which bequeaths the materials to her two septuagenarian daughters, Eva Hoffe and Ruth Wiesler. The library is claiming a right to the papers under the terms of Brod’s will. The case has dragged on for more than two years. If the court finds in the sisters’ favor, they will be free to follow Eva’s stated plan to sell some or all of the papers to the German Literature Archive in Marbach. They will also be free to keep whatever they don’t sell in their multiple Swiss and Israeli bank vaults and in the Tel Aviv apartment that Eva shares with an untold number of cats.

    The situation has repeatedly been called Kafkaesque, reflecting, perhaps, the strangeness of the idea that Kafka can be anyone’s private property. Isn’t that what Brod demonstrated, when he disregarded Kafka’s last testament: that Kafka’s works weren’t even Kafka’s private property but, rather, belonged to humanity?

    In May, I attended a session at the Tel Aviv district courthouse, dealing with the fate of the papers. Heading to the courtroom, I found myself in a small and dilapidated elevator with flickering fluorescent lights and a stated maximum occupancy of four people. I was reminded of “The Trial,” the novel that opens with the unexplained arrest of Josef K. by a mysterious court that turns out to have its offices in attics all over Prague, running its course somehow separately from the normal criminal-justice system. Half-expecting the elevator to deposit me in the upper stories of a low-income residential building, I emerged instead into a standard municipal-looking hallway with faux-marble floors. Black-robed lawyers paced around, carrying laptops or giant file folders tucked under their arms; many dragged still more files behind them in black wheeled suitcases.

    Some minutes later, a barely perceptible charge in the air signaled the arrival of the sisters. Ruth, with her white sneakers, pearl earrings and short, bleached hair, looked like somebody’s grandmother (which she is). Eva, a former El Al employee who was by all accounts a great beauty in her youth, was dressed entirely in black, with a black plastic clip holding back her long auburn hair. Ruth wore a white shoulder bag, while Eva carried a plastic Iams bag with a paw-print logo.

    Of five rows of wooden benches in the courtroom, the first three were occupied by more than a dozen lawyers: two lawyers for the National Library; a representative of the Israeli government office that is responsible for estate hearings; and five court-appointed executors: three representing Esther Hoffe’s will (which the National Library considers irrelevant to the case) and two representing Brod’s estate (which the sisters’ attorneys consider essentially irrelevant to the case). The German Literature Archive in Marbach, which has supposedly offered an undisclosed sum for the papers (said to be worth millions), was also represented by Israeli counsel. Ruth’s lawyer and Eva’s three lawyers rounded out the crowd. It’s impressive that the sisters had between them four lawyers, although, to put things in perspective, Josef K. at one point meets a defendant who has six. When he informs K. that he is negotiating with a seventh, K. asks why anyone should need so many lawyers. The defendant grimly replies, “I need them all.”

  11. resistor said,

    Will, you’re fooling nobody.

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