Notepad on Life

January 4, 2017

Integration’s untimely fall at the first fence?

Filed under: Uncategorized — - @ 11:36 pm
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Pic courtesy of Jay Huang

It may be that there is another reason why New Year fireworks came in three different salvos on Saturday night. I certainly hope so.

But then why else would they light up the sky at 10pm and 11pm, before their traditional manifestation at midnight?

On the town forum, someone claimed to have the answer. Ten o’clock UK time is midnight in Latvia and Lithuania, he explained. When the sky lights up at 11pm, it will be the town’s Polish community striking the matches.

I must stress that I am yet to see this theory corroborated but should it be valid, what does it say about the mindset of many long-term visitors to our shores?

I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes in  such circumstances, but it’s not helping in this instance. Were I living abroad and someone asked if I would calibrate my New Year’s celebration to my native land, I would look at him as if he were mad. I might ‘phone home’ when midnight struck in the UK, but it would seem the most logical thing in the world to hitch my principal celebration to the time zone in which I now lived. This is my home now, after all, would be my reasoning. These are my people. If I can’t integrate to the point of syncing my New Year with theirs, I might begin to wonder what I was even doing there in the first place.

So much for my view. It now appears, at least, that it might not have much traction elsewhere. If that is indeed the case, what a sad comparison it offers between America on the one hand, so many of whose fiercest patriots came from overseas to invest fully in the American Dream, and Britain on the other; apparently a dormitory town on a national scale. Just somewhere to hang your hat in between pay cheques.

Someone tell me there’s another explanation…


January 7, 2016

Whom did Live Aid aid, exactly? Beware the pontificating celebrity

Filed under: Charity,History — - @ 4:48 am
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Loudmouth – The Best of Bob Geldof & The Boomt...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe you fell for it.

You were denounced as “racist” by Emma Thompson, or harangued by Benedict Cumberbatch and you walked straight into the trap. You assumed that people who breathe such life into scripts written by others are just as authentic when speaking for themselves.

Or you’ve never watched Steve Coogan on Question Time, so still cling to the notion that entertainers make natural social commentators.

If so, you need to read this chilling account of where the money raised from Live Aid may have ended up. For those of you born after the most famous fundraiser of all time, the whole event was driven substantially by the passion and resolve of Boomtown Rats bandleader Bob Geldof, who relentlessly badgered all and sundry, great and small, to get their hands into their pockets.

His efforts made him far more famous than his music would have done and there is no suggestion that his intentions regarding the Ethiopian famine that prompted Live Aid were anything other than admirable. If Spin‘s reporting is accurate, however, he may have been monumentally misguided. Something at least to bear in mind next time Hollywood grandees are damning your reservations over mass migration, particularly from Islamic nations.

Just because they can wipe the floor with us when it comes to acting, it doesn’t follow that their grasp of what’s what in this complex world is any firmer than our own.


Live Aid: Bob Geldof’s Original Response to SPIN’s 1986 Exposé 

Geldof, Guccione square off over money

October 28, 2014

Michael Fallon commits modern politics’ greatest crime – listening to the public

Filed under: politics — - @ 1:46 pm
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You always know when a politician has come dangerously close to telling it like it is. He’s backtracking like crazy within 24 hours.

In touch with the mood of his people? Then he should damn well keep it to himself…

I wouldn’t mind if there wasn’t something so predictable about those who objected to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon’s weekend comments that the UK is in danger of being swamped by immigration. The Liberal Democrats would object to anything these days, such is their desperation to show that they still have a pulse, while Labour understandably won’t brook any swipe at the people who form the lion’s share of their vote.

Throw in the usual nicey-nicey knee-jerk brigade, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose promising start to his tenure is fast becoming a distant memory, and Fallon’s best reaction would have been to ignore the lot of them.

But no, in any clash between the mood of the so-called elite and that of the Great Unwashed, the former must prevail and so yet again we see one of our leaders on the back foot for the dreadful faux pas of giving public opinion a voice.

Because here’s how it is: this country IS being swamped by immigration, as even those of us who believe in immigration – as long as it is planned and implemented by people with a backbone and half a brain – can see with our own eyes.

I was at church on Sunday. Part of the service was the christening of a Lithuanian baby and part of the order of service was read in both English and Lithuanian. Fifteen years ago, I would have thought it a delightful touch, just as I would the occasional sound of foreign voices in my town or a shop that specialised in eastern European food and drink. Nowadays, though, all I could think on Sunday morning was “thin end of the wedge”.

This change in outlook occurs not because some inner Nazi has simply been waiting for any old excuse to show itself, but because I see what is going on around me, as do millions of people in Britain. An immigration free-for-all that is neither thought-out nor managed and that generates its own ugliness. You put a people in fear of losing their country’s identity and social tension is inevitable.

How many times must this be spelt out? It’s not about race, it’s about numbers.

July 16, 2013

Channel 4 Ramadan row a smokescreen

Filed under: politics,TV — - @ 6:46 am
Tags: ,

Last week’s scary headline, contrary to what you may have heard, wasn’t this:

Why Channel 4’s plan to air the daily Muslim call to prayer during Ramadan is a divisive and cynical stunt

It was this:

True toll of mass migration on UK life: Half of Britons suffer under strain placed on schools, police, NHS and housing

You have a certain community living in your country, how ungracious is it not to afford them a proportionate voice somewhere in your TV landscape?

The size of that and other communities in proportion to the indigenous population, on the other hand, or to infrastructure and services, now there’s the rub.

How many time must it be spelt out? It’s not about race, it’s about numbers. And if this country had the numbers under any semblance of control, I doubt the Ramadan broadcast controversy would have got any further than first base.

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