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The deep Crisis of the West
Freedom of expression in Norway?
19.11.2011. The post-Breivik debate in Denmark is pointedly different from the debate in Norway. Why the difference in the two brother countries? Katrine Winkel Holm of the Danish Free Press Society (English link) offers her suggestions. Continue reading at GoV.
Defends opening the door to mass migration to the UK
06.11.2011 (updated 13.07.2012). Britain's Former PM said it was 'right’ that the country was made up of different cultures and faiths mixing together, according to Daily Mail:
His comments come just days after official figures revealed that the population is expected to soar by the equivalent of a city the size of Leeds every year for the next decade.
A defiant Mr Blair insisted his party’s policy on immigration was the right one. He said: 'It’s been a very positive thing and there is no way for a country like Britain to succeed in the future unless it is open to people of different colours, faiths and cultures.’
His comments were branded ‘shameless’ by critics and are set to fuel claims that the huge increase in migrants under Labour were due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to change the country.
Two years ago, Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, said that Labour’ s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to ‘open the UK to mass migration’.
He added that Labour wanted to rub the ‘Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’.
Tory MP Priti Patel, said: ‘As the daughter of immigrants, there is no question that those who work hard and make a positive contribution do enrich the fabric of our society.
‘But what Tony Blair has failed to recognise is that while he was in power, he opened the floodgates of mass and uncontrolled immigration which has left a damaging legacy in our towns and cities.’
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: ‘This is completely shameless from the Prime Minister who brought more than three million immigrants into Britain in the teeth of public opposition.’
Fellow Tory MP Dominic Raab added: ‘These comments are naïve if not reckless. Tony Blair has left Britain with a legacy of uncontrolled immigration that has put huge pressure on public services and undermined community cohesion’.
Read the entire article in The Daily Mail.
HonestThinking comments: Yes, indeed, this is «completely shameless» of Blair. Defending his immigration policies is going to be increasingly difficult in the years to come, as Britons in ever stronger measure harvests what he has sown.
Suing Europe to stop 'benefit tourism'
06.11.2011. The Government is to take the historic step of suing the European Commission to stem the growing tide of 'benefit tourism'. Ministers have discovered that the EU is currently seeking to negotiate deals with Ukraine and north African countries that could result in millions of people being given the right to claim state pensions and benefits in this country. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Chris Grayling, the employment minister, said that the EU had launched a “land grab” and that “pre-emptive action to stop this” was now necessary. “We are not going to be rolled over on this, it’s a hugely sensitive issue,” Mr Grayling said. Continue reading in The Telegraph.
How real is our freedom of speech?
06.11.2011. On 26. October I participated in a 30 minutes political debate (held in Norwegian) that was broadcast live at NRK (the public service radio and TV network of Norway). The treatment I was given there has stirred up strong reactions among viewers (see e.g. this one in Aftenposten). Here are some excerpts from an English language account of what happened, given by Document.no:
NRK and the rest of the media cannot make up their mind: Are the anti-Muslim sentiments caused by a small number of influential voices? Is it for example likely that the opposition in Germany is caused by the popular website Politically Incorrect, PI.net? Are they able to influence the public opinion despite of massive media power? Even harder to explain is the bestseller “Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab” (Germany does itself in), by Thilo Sarrazin, because buying a book requires an active decision by the buyer. The unpleasant question is then whether his book reflects what people actually feel on its own.
Which raises another issue, another cliché from the sixties and well known in the history of socialism: If the “people” does not mean what the class analysis says, it must be because they are manipulated.
Herbert Marcuse was one of the student movement’s great minds in the sixties, and created the notion of “false consciousness”. Marcuse came out of the philosophical elitist Frankfurt School, and believed the culture industry influenced people’s mental state to the point where they did not understand their own needs. But Marcuse did, and even more so the students and Maoists. The Maoists were preachers and soldiers for the good cause, and talked about people having “flies in their heads”. While Marcuse could carry out his distanced analysis, these guys leaned more towards practical politics, and took physical action against those who destroyed or poisoned people’s consciousness.
This attitude is reflected in the way Thilo Sarrazin was treated. He had to be isolated, his thoughts discredited, and they wanted him excluded from the German labour party SPD. The only problem was his popularity. Sanctions may backfire, but there is no doubt what they would do to him under more favorable circumstances.
This display of a hostile conflict is something new in today’s Europe. It used to be related to a hostile ideology anchored in Moscow and Beijing. Now it is replaced by an internal conflict. This is disturbing.
The powers that be feel they have the right to treat a part of the population differently from the rest, there is an open debate on whether they should be censored or locked out.
This was openly discussed in the October 26 NRK program, first through the news story that should set the stage for the debate program “Aktuelt”: Do they deserve to be heard?
And the most unpleasant thing: This was not a theoretical debate, there was a live person in the studio: Computer scientist, author, and social commentator Ole Jørgen Anfindsen, known for his critical views on official Norwegian immigration and integration policies. It had been announced in the news that a commentator who believes the 22/7 terrorist “had a point” would take part. I felt uneasy. Did Anfindsen really intend to step out on this arena? It would be like volunteering to enter a gladiator match.
The whole thing was set up for maximum effect. The muslim commentator Bushra Ishaq, known for her support for allowing the hijab as part of the Norwegian police uniform, talked about the price to pay for taking part in the public debate. She had been harassed and had received threats from the beginning. When the camera then pointed to Anfindsen, everybody understood what he had been contributing to.
Anfindsen was his usual laid back self, trying to admit that his opponents may have some valid points. All in vain, this time, because his opponents had no intention of agreeing to disagree.
The host of the show – Ole Torp – distinguished himself by an increasing emotional attitude towards Anfindsen. The introduction was seemingly neutral, but eventually he came out guns blazing. Anfindsen was described as a neatly wrapped racist. Is that what he is, Torp asked former labour minister of culture, Åse Kleveland. No, was the answer, she could not spot any wrapping here, just a plain open racist.
Continue reading at Document.no.
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