Skip to main content

Government by press release

Hazel Blears' idea of a rebranding of ethnic categories shows the dangers of government by press release.

Anyone who has any knowledge of the history of Ireland and the battles to stop the Irish being British would know that gestures such as describing all Irish people in Great Britain as Irish British would cause untold stress.

Luckily the government have given up on that.

Ethnic categories and identity are things that really people need to be able to decide upon themselves. The rows about categories relate also to self-determination. They are important, but deserve consideration. I tend towards self-determination as an option. This may result in "Jedi" being counted, but I don't see that as a problem.

Comments

Manfarang said…
I thought the battles were to stop the British in Ireland.
shaz said…
I think the government has begun to lose it's mind, understandably after recent events. In trying to find an explanation as how and why British born Muslims would be drawn to attack the very country they owe allegiance to, the governemnt has tried to cling to every reason other than the root cause. No doubt identity is a factor in 'dis-integration' as are social, economic and historic affiliations, but these factors have been with immigrant communities for decades (if not centuries).
john said…
The actions of certain English/British armed forces over numerous centuries were clearly one aspect.

My understanding, however, was that it was a campaign for the independence of Ireland from the United Kingdom.

There are so many elements of uncertainty about the word "British" in any event. A British Citizen is not generally a citizen of Britain, but a citizen of the United Kingdom. Indeed Great Britain is the name of a big island not a country.

People do, however, tend to use the word British to mean someone who is part of the United Kingdom.

We then have the fact that a lot of people have both UK and Irish passports. Quite a few people living in the UK have only Irish passports. A lot of people living in Ireland now have Eastern European passports.

I agree with Shaz that it is clear that parts of the government clearly do not understand in any way what is going on.
TheStarFromAfar said…
Surely everyone should either have the choice of being labelled "British" or just call themselves "English", "Scottish", "Welsh" e.t.c. Surely many of the problems that members of ethnic minorities face is linked to the fact that they are constantly labelled as Indian, Chinese, Afro-Caribbean et cetera.
I think Hazel Blears's ideas completely miss the point. If there are more radical Muslims in the towns and cities of Britain out there who wish to cause harm to people, another loudly-trumpeted directive from Whitehall in the guise of ministers "thinking aloud" isn't going to stop them.

Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Homelessness vs Selling Books

Candidates in elections tend to find themselves very busy with lots of things to do.  It is, therefore, necessary to prioritise things to ensure that the important things are dealt with.

To me the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping is an important issue.  Therefore, when Birmingham's Faith Leaders group contacted me to ask me what I would propose and whether I would work with them to make things better I was pleased to respond with my views and indicate that I would work with them after the election.

The Faith Leaders Group (Bishops and other religious leaders in Birmingham) have now sent out their report.

Sadly, according to their report,  I was the only candidate for Yardley to respond.  The group in their report said:

"Particularly disappointing was the lack of response from some of those candidates seeking re-election as MP for their respective constituencies."
It is worth looking at the priorities of my opponent.
Interestingly today she has decided to be at th…

Millionaires and politics

The Labour Party spent most of the last election criticising me for being a successful businessman (aka millionaire). That is business in the private sector employing over 250 people. It is worth looking at the situation for the Labour Candidate now:

For the year 2016-7 Annual Income from Parliament74,962Specifically for her book51,250Other media income etc5,322.82Total declared income131,534.82

Traditionally anyone with an annual income of over £100,000 has been considered to be a millionaire. I did not use my position in parliament to increase my income.


I have been asked for sources for this. This BBC piece looks at how one should define rich. It was written in 2011 so the figures will be slightly out of date. There are perhaps 2 relevant pieces:
"In 1880 a rich person would have had £100,000 in assets or an income of £10,000 a year, he says. About a hundred people a year died leaving £100,000 and by 1910 this was 250 - "a microscopic fraction of the number of death…