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Blair bucks political correctness in the UK
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, April 14, 2007

Apparently Tony Blair finds it tiresome to pretend something going on isn't going on in the name of political correctness:
Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for black-led efforts to tackle the problem.

One accused him of misunderstanding the advice he had been given on the issue at a Downing Street summit.

Black community leaders reacted after Mr Blair said the recent violence should not be treated as part of a general crime wave, but as specific to black youth. He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it".
Unlike the French, who prefer to pretend by using the general term "youths" for a very specific group of young men who seem to delight in torching cars, Blair has decided to name names - specifically.

Whether he's got it right or not, I have to applaud the fact that he didn't bow at the alter of political correctness to talk around the problem as he understands it. What he's reacting too is the usual pat excuses made for such violence and how innane they are:
Mr Blair's remarks are at odds with those of the Home Office minister Lady Scotland, who told the home affairs select committee last month that the disproportionate number of black youths in the criminal justice system was a function of their disproportionate poverty, and not to do with a distinctive black culture.
Said Blair:
Giving the Callaghan lecture in Cardiff, the prime minister admitted he had been "lurching into total frankness" in the final weeks of his premiership. He called on black people to lead the fight against knife crime. He said that "the black community - the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law abiding people horrified at what is happening - need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids".
It is the same sort of gangster culture we see celebrated here in the US and with the same attendant problems. It is a culture within the black community (and it has spilled over into other racial groups as well) which is built upon a warped gang ethos which has a perverted sense of loyalty and respect at their core. Gangster rap is its anthem and violence is means of settling scores. To pretend that this is driven by poverty is to ignore the same ethos infecting well off suburban areas as it has more blighted urban areas.

Naturally, Blair immediately came under fire for daring to buck the orthodoxy:
Last night, British African-Caribbean figures leading the fight against gang culture condemned Mr Blair's speech. The Rev Nims Obunge, chief executive of the Peace Alliance, one of the main organisations working against gang crime, denounced the prime minister.

Mr Obunge, who attended the Downing Street summit chaired by Mr Blair in February, said he had been cited by the prime minister: "He makes it look like I said it's the black community doing it. What I said is it's making the black community more vulnerable and they need more support and funding for the work they're doing. ... He has taken what I said out of context. We came for support and he has failed and has come back with more police powers to use against our black children."

Keith Jarrett, chair of the National Black Police Association, whose members work with vulnerable youngsters, said: "Social deprivation and delinquency go hand in hand and we need to tackle both. It is curious that the prime minister does not mention deprivation in his speech."

Lee Jasper, adviser on policing to London's mayor, said: "For years we have said this is an issue the black community has to deal with. The PM is spectacularly ill-informed if he thinks otherwise.

"Every home secretary from [David] Blunkett onwards has been pressed on tackling the growing phenomenon of gun and gang crime in deprived black communities, and government has failed to respond to what has been a clear demand for additional resources to tackle youth alienation and disaffection".
Bottom line here? It is the government's job to fix the problem, not the black community's. They're victims, you see. It's all about deprivation from poverty and not a pernicious and warped culture which has been allowed to establish itself and grow. The argument is that you solve poverty and the culture goes away. That, as far as I can tell, has no basis in fact. The words "alienation and disaffection" don't necessarily have a thing to do with poverty. Just ask the well-off jihadis who flew airplanes into buildings on 9/11.

Blair is right, in my estimation, and he's going to get pilloried for it. The narrative is set. It is never the fault of a culture, says multiculturalism. In that orthodoxy it is always the fault of poverty or some other external cause. But deprivation leading to alienation and disaffection come in many more areas than the monetary sphere. Pretending it is all about poverty is to ignore the real problems. But that is the way of the multicultural society and because of that, the problems persist and grow.

BTW, as an aside, that gun ban sure is working out well isn't it? Oh, and a little market tip: If one product becomes scarce or too expensive, a substitute will be found, procured and used if available. Knife murders, eh?
 
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Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders.
How big a deal could it really be? He didn’t call them Nappy Headed Ho’s or anything really offensive like that, right?


 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It is the same sort of gangster culture we see celebrated here in the US and with the same attendant problems. It is a culture within the black community (and it has spilled over into other racial groups as well) which is built upon a warped gang ethos which has a perverted sense of loyalty and respect at their core. Gangster rap is its anthem and violence is means of settling scores. To pretend that this is driven by poverty is to ignore the same ethos infecting well off suburban areas as it has more blighted urban areas.
This is absolutely correct, and very well said. I cannot say it any better, but I want to add my emphasis to a couple points: A key element of the violence problem is the romanticizing of thug/gangster culture. To the extent that this began with, and is usually associated with, the black community, it is a black problem, but it is by no means limited to blacks.

As a jazz lover, I am constantly reminded that this music was a gift from American black culture that has affected the whole world in a profoundly positive way. Recognizing this to be true, I can hardly pretend that the "Gangsta" music that American black culture also gave us has not affected the world just as profoundly(if not more so unfortunately) in a negative way.

It is not racist to look to the black cultural role models who have polluted our world with this ugly thug culture for help in trying to replace it with something more positive.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
While I applaude Blair...

Shorter Blair: "I really don’t feel like being Prime Minister when the next election comes around..."
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
The point is so fundamental: culture matters! The reason why I am so pessimisitic on Iraq is not because of the extreme importance of political culture and the horrid state of such in Iraq: corruption, sectarian violence, mistrust, and lack of any sort of democratic tradition. Culture is why a place like Maine can have just about everyone own a gun, yet be the third safest state in the country. Culture is far more important than government, and government cannot fix culture, and trying to do so only makes matters worse. Yet most politicians don’t say that because they are in government, and have a vested interest in trying to make it seem like they can solve the problem. Only when their governmental careers near an end are they able to honestly assess the situation.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
As year or so ago, the London equivalent to the Police Chief said that the greatest crime problem was guns. The guns that should not have existed after the firearms ban and turn in. And there were discussions last year about outlawing pointy ended knives in the home. I guess the criminals with pointed knives and firearms didn’t get the message. From media stories, in Great Britain you can’t legally defend yourself or help someone being attacked; that is the police’s responsibility. American exchange students have a British police officer explain the rules and ask for all pocket knifes and pepper spray brought to Britain to be surrendered. We Americans are just too violence prone. But there are cameras everywhere so that they can record any attack on you and maybe prosecute you if you defend yourself and injure the attacker. I guess things have gotten worse on the streets since my last visit in 2002.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
"Home Office minister Lady Scotland, who told the home affairs select committee last month that the disproportionate number of black youths in the criminal justice system was a function of their disproportionate poverty, and not to do with a distinctive black culture."
B.S.

 
Written By: Aardvark
URL: http://
"government cannot fix culture, and trying to do so only makes matters worse."

Explain how anti-smoking campaigns "make matters worse" when in Taiwan virtually every kid now knows that smoking is bad and less and less young people smoke...compared to the previous generations where smoking was a male cultural habit. Explain how we managed to change an ingrained racist culture in the USA...I’m not saying it would be easy or even wise to try to change hip hop culture, but I don’t think its impossible.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Dude, if kids these days don’t know smoking is bad for them, lung cancer is actually going to be the least of their problems...

Topping the list would be crippling mental retardation...

You can not legislate any sort of morality. Sodomy was illegal in a bunch of states, and it still happened. It’s against a bunch of different laws to express recist ideas (from equal opertunity employment to other such laws), and there are still racists...

Just because I tell you to like something, or not like something, don’t mean you’ll do as your told. Education is the only way, not legislation...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Explain how anti-smoking campaigns "make matters worse" when in Taiwan virtually every kid now knows that smoking is bad and less and less young people smoke...compared to the previous generations where smoking was a male cultural habit. Explain how we managed to change an ingrained racist culture in the USA...I’m not saying it would be easy or even wise to try to change hip hop culture, but I don’t think its impossible.
By saying government can’t "fix" culture I don’t mean the government can’t do some good. I think information on nutrition content is one of the best regulations, in that it expands the information easily available to customers.

However, in the case of smoking or racism, I wonder if you can really credit government — or did the government follow culture, only working against racism as the culture moved to adopt more progressive attitudes? Smoking as well saw a change in public opinion as knowledge of its impact spread; when my mom was pregnant her doctor told her to smoke in order not to gain weight. But you have a point, the government can do some good things. But if there are deep problems in the culture, the government can’t just use regulations to fix it. It might be able to help support through education and regulation some positive trends in culture, but it’s always potentially dangerous and should be undertaken with care.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
For many years, the black and hispanic subcultures made the US a much more violent place, and England’s culture was non-violent (at least in terms of internal criminal violence).

Consequently, England’s gun controls were praised.

Add third world immigration and third world culture, and England’s gun control proves a failure.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Explain how anti-smoking campaigns "make matters worse" when in Taiwan virtually every kid now knows that smoking is bad and less and less young people smoke...compared to the previous generations where smoking was a male cultural habit.
To what extent is the government anti-smoking efforts responsible?

England’s gun laws were previously credited with the low crime rates, which in fact were due to cultural factors. Correlation does not prove causation.
Explain how we managed to change an ingrained racist culture in the USA...
My understanding is that a lot of that was "grass roots" type of change; that the government roll has been significantly exaggerated.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

 
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