We tend to think of anti-Jewish sentiment as coming from the Far Right, yet nowadays it is fairly common to find examples of it on liberal or left wing web sites. It is not overt or blunt as found amongst the extreme racists, but there are tell-tale signs: conspiracy theories and strange terminology.
I am not surprised that racists mount their pathetic hobbyhorses, rather that the non-racists who read that material at Liberal Conspiracy can’t see a problem or are willing to let it go unchallenged. If I were charitable I might conclude that most at Liberal Conspiracy don’t understand racism, and in particular anti-Jewish racism.
“Naturally, Dawkins, his supporters, and the broader movement of self-identified ‘liberal, nice, decent people’ may yet defend themselves as critics of Islam who do not adopt the violent extremist attitudes of EDL members. Many of them may well be decent people though it is important that they realise that their actions may feed into the rhetoric of hate organisations like the EDL.
Sometimes, the language and comments used may well be perceived by Muslims as being identical to groups like the EDL and whilst they are coming from different places, the impact and perceptions on Muslim individuals may be the same – whether from the liberal or political left or whether from the Far Right.
Any form of speech that lumps groups of individuals together and abuses them collectively is unacceptable in a tolerant, diverse, and equal society.
Furthermore, these ‘decent, nice and liberal people’ need to understand that some in society attack Islam to undermine and dehumanise Muslims. Some genuinely believe that by attacking Islam, they are having no impact on the perception of Muslims by others.
It is therefore not a simple issue and saying that hating and attacking Islam does not impact or affect Muslims in our communities is naive.”[My emphasis.]
It is peppered with questionable argumentation, fields of straw men and a depressingly simplistic approach to the issue of racism. It would take a whole blog post to pick them apart, but his failure to understand that religious identities can be used as a way to attack ethnic minorities is surprising.
Even President Hollande got that point fairly quickly and he is not a professional academic.
“A Thalidomide victim with a brain tumour who is blind in one eye and has trouble walking is battling against a decision by Atos that she is capable of “work related activity”.
Martine White, 50, is due to appear at a tribunal in which she will appeal against the decision which she fears could force her to take employment or face losing up to half of her benefits.
The mother of four from Burnley, Lancashire, is one of a number of victims of the morning sickness drug which left more than 500 people in Britain with severe birth defects who claim they are being unfairly treated by the Government’s controversial back-to-work assessors.
Mrs White, who has deformed arms and is facing spinal surgery which she fears could put her permanently in a wheelchair, was assessed by Atos and moved from incapacity benefit to the new employment and support allowance last year.
She was placed in the category which deemed she was capable of “work-related activity” which can require attending a “work-related interview” once a month and putting together a CV in order to continue receiving her benefits of £212.70 a fortnight.
Mrs White, whose late husband Michael was also affected by Thalidomide, has twice appealed against her assessment but has now been told to argue her case in front of a judge. “
Ed Balls is not an impressive politician, not by virtue of his shrewdness, delivering or occasional principles. Still, you might hope of paid politician, someone who does it for a living, would eventually get the hang of it.
“There’s some nice triangulation there. Balls is trying to play both sides of the street on welfare and benefits, and manages to get in a bit of One Nation rhetoric as well. But the point is that his underlying assumptions are both wrong and, in my view, counter-productive.
The problem with Ed Balls really lies in that second quote, where he continues to use the rhetoric of austerity. Austerity is failing, and there is an increasing body of evidence to show why that is the case – I’ve referred to the IMF’s evidence about the multiplier before. The evidence is increasingly showing that we need precisely the opposite of spending cuts, and that any tax increases should fall overwhelmingly on the wealthier, for reasons of both equity and to ensure that they do not damage demand (Balls’ argument that his scheme should be paid for by reducing the pension tax advantages of those on the highest incomes is very welcome, but misses the point – more spending and an end to austerity would increase tax revenues across the economy as a whole). “
“When PIP starts to replace Disability Living Allowance next year anyone who can walk just twenty metres will not qualify for help with mobility. Twenty metres is less than the distance most of the disabled parking bays at my local Tesco are from the door. It’s really not much. Hundreds of thousands of people will no longer get a mobility allowance and as a result will no longer be eligible to lease a Motability car. One day it might be you that needs this.
The government has also left out the phrase “safely, reliably, repeatedly and in a timely manner” from the PIP regulations. This means that if a person can do something just once, or can push through pain to do it, they might not get help and can’t even challenge it at tribunal. “
The Labour Party has a problem challenging the Tories on this issue, they essentially agree with the Tories’ underlying assumptions as Liam Byrne’s thinking has shown.
“Half a million soldiers, nurses and teachers will have their income slashed under the coalition’s benefits crackdown, according to a new report. The chancellor’s sub-inflation rise in benefits and tax credits over the next three years will hit a whole range of the country’s most trusted professionals.
Up to 40,000 soldiers, 300,000 nurses and 150,000 primary and nursery school teachers will lose cash, in some cases many hundreds of pounds, according to the Children’s Society. The revelation appears to contradict the government’s stated intention to target shirkers and scroungers, and will raise the temperature of the Commons debate and vote on the plan on Tuesday. “
A reminder, for timid Labour, of what Tory attacks really mean:
“On Friday night Christina Martin posted a link which caught my eye. It was a few lines from a local paper which said that a blind, deaf, tube-fed, non verbal, disabled man from Scotland had been deemed fit for work by the DWP. As a result of not completing the form correctly his benefits will be stopped on 7th June and he will have to access the appeal process to have this decision over turned.
This man has to have 24 hour care and the person who had completed his form for him as his disability prevents him had not included something in the 30 page form which meant that due to that error his money will stop. “
In October 2009, Greenpeace identified five industrial facilities in southern China’s Pearl River delta that were dumping poisonous metals and chemicals—such as beryllium, manganese, nonylphenol and tetrabromobisphenol— into water used by local residents for drinking.
“A housebound disabled woman has scored a victory over welfare assessor Atos – using the power of the internet to force it to change its practices.
Anyone wanting to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) must have a disability assessment carried out by Atos, a private firm, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.
Jayne Linney, 50, wanted her assessments with the firm to be recorded after what she called “basic errors” were made by Atos staff in previous meetings, which could have affected her entitlement to benefits. Other disability claimants have also complained their payments were cut after Atos assessors misreported their answers to show they were capable of work.
After repeatedly being told all Atos’ tape recorders were broken, Miss Linney, from Leicester, set up a petition on campaign website Change.org. The former community development worker also wrote a blog documenting her “saga” with Atos, and used Facebook and Twitter to gather support.
After she amassed 1,000 signatures on her petition, Atos finally backed down and agreed to record her assessment. Ms Linney, who suffers from fibromyalgia and Sjögren’s syndrome, began to claim ESA after she was forced to leave her job in January 2010.
“I’m amazed at the response,” she said. “It’s the comments [on the blog] that keep you going. To know that people agree with me, it’s amazing. Because I’m housebound an online campaign was the only option for me. ”
Atos has apologised on its website for not providing the equipment to record the meetings quickly enough. “