Tag Archives: Roma

#JimmyCarr postscript: don’t try to tell us his #HolocaustJoke was awareness-raising!

I had to take a break from writing about Jimmy Carr and his Holocaust “joke” because his supporters were infuriating me with their attempts at justification.

Their point was that, after uttering his shocking attempt at humour on the His Dark Material video, Carr told his audience (who had laughed heartily) that his joke was “****ing funny” and went on to say it was educational because some people don’t know Nazis killed gypsies too, along with homosexuals, disabled people and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Mention of Jehovah’s Witnesses led him to a secondary punchline about “Yeah, we don’t like JWs either.”

But how many people really don’t know that, while being the largest individual group, Jews constituted only slightly more than one-third of those killed in the Nazi Holocaust?

When right-wingers in the Labour Party were trying to expel me, one of their arguments was that I had accused other people of saying Jews were the only group of people to be murdered in the Holocaust, so I provided ample evidence of people who have made it quite clear that such is their belief – or at least, what they want you to believe.

So there is that aspect of it – misinformation by people (mostly Zionists, although certainly not always Jews – never mix up the two groups) who have political reasons for wanting you to believe a lie.

But a friend on Facebook makes an excellent point about this:

How many times have there been rows about the Holocaust where the focus on 6 million Jews, and the Nazis attempt to eradicate Jewish people as a ‘race,’ has been corrected by someone pointing out that the true number of victims of the Holocaust is between 12 and 20 million, and includes Roma, Poles, Serbs, Slovenes, Soviet P.O.W.s, Soviet civilians, communists, trade unionists, disabled people and homosexuals? This is not some new discovery made by Jimmy Carr, and making a joke of it is not the way to bring it to wider attention.

The other aspect of it is as a reflection of the way the travelling community are viewed in general. A commenter on This Site’s Facebook page stated:

I found this particular joke a pointed comment on how Gypsy’s and the Traveling Community are perceived in general by the wider population… That’s what the joke is tapping into, its a reflection of the bias and prejudice we all feel towards those not our own when coming into contact with them.

But another commenter pointed out:

I’ve listened to his ‘excuses’ after getting the racist laugh from a racist audience… I think you’d have to be racist to find it funny… The educational element is a little flawed if you first harvest a laugh based on racism, then merely tag on a line after that just says ‘based on a true story’… The problem here was that he crafted a racist joke that depended on a racist audience.

Personally, I like the response of a third commenter:

Just call him “the Nazi comedian” and if anybody complains just say you are being edgy and your comment is hilarious.

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Celebrities rally around #JimmyCarr. It seems a #HolocaustJoke is okay if your friend tells it

Who knew?

Let’s be clear about something. Jimmy Carr’s joke about the Nazi Holocaust against gypsies (as he calls them in the video) is not okay. In a previous article I discussed how it presented the deaths of many thousands of people as acceptable; indeed, desirable.

He also told it in a show that’s available at a time when the UK government is preparing to pass a new law that will persecute the GRT (Gypsy/Roma/Traveller) community in ways similar to some of the measures imposed on them in Nazi Germany.

I elaborated on this in a previous article:

In 1930s Germany, Hitler ramped up already-existing anti-gypsy laws to establish the pre-supposition that they were a “nuisance”, that they were criminal by their nature (so it follows that the authorities were allowed to assume they were criminals without them actually having to commit a crime), and that they should be moved on from encampments that were considered to cause a disturbance to the rest of the German population (in Hitler’s Germany, they were moved on into concentration camps where they were murdered in a holocaust that was every bit as brutal as the attempted genocide of the Jews).

Boris Johnson has been stealing policies from Hitler, it seems.

Then I quoted someone else, who said:

Previously, police could take action against Gypsies and Travellers if they had done something wrong. They had to have “caused damage to the land or to property on the land or used threatening, abusive or insulting words”.

Alternately, they could take action if they had six or more vehicles on the land. But the new bill allows police to take action if they have just one vehicle.

And they do not need to have done anything at all. The police officer just needs to suspect that significant damage or disruption “is likely to be caused”.

Similarly, if they suspect that “significant distress… as a result of offensive conduct” – defined as “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour” – is likely to be caused, they can also take action.

In other words: You do not actually need to have done anything. All that is required is that the police *suspect* you will do something.

If the police do suspect this, they can “seize and remove any relevant property”. This includes the vehicle. But for these communities, it is not just a vehicle. It is their home.

Put yourself in these people’s place. At a time when they are facing the possibility that the police will confiscate everything they own, if an officer doesn’t like the way they look, here’s a popular comedian saying the attempted genocide of all their race is a “positive”.

It doesn’t make a difference whether it was only meant in jest. There’s many a true word spoken that way, as the saying goes, and there are people in the world who will accept what Carr said, simply because he’s the one who said it; people laugh at comedians’ jokes because they agree with the sentiment behind them.

I read an attempt to justify Carr that said if we put a stop to jokes like this, we should stop horror or war movies, because they show characters doing vile things, or Nazis. But the whole point of those films is to present the horrific or Nazi characters as abhorrent – not sympathetic. So the argument falls flat.

And obviously there’s the disparity between the fact that he felt fine talking about the gypsy (in fact, the Roma/Sinti) Holocaust in a way that he would never refer to the Jewish Holocaust. The simple fact is that it is unacceptable to talk about any Holocaust in that way.

And yet, here come Carr’s celebrity friends to support him. This one – the first I saw – was particularly shocking for me, considering who it is. The response is entirely appropriate, I think:

This makes it worse:

That’s right. Victoria Coren Mitchell said she would have defended Carr if he had made a joke defending the murder of Jews in the Holocaust because “it’s not about the joke”.

Would she be saying that if someone who wasn’t a blue-tick celebrity and a personal friend of hers had told that joke? I doubt it. I can’t be sure but it seems unlikely. No doubt someone will trawl through her Twitter feed and find out if she’s being a hypocrite or not.

So, taking this in line with Rachel Riley’s response to the show in which Carr told his joke, there seems to be a clear message coming from the blue-tick crusaders: Supporting the Holocaust is fine as long as it’s done by one of their friends.

Or – tying in with current developments in politics: It’s one rule for us, and no rules for them.

I should add that Ms Coren Mitchell and Riley aren’t the only ones who’ve supported Carr. If you visit the Twitter feeds of the usual anti-Semitism crusader mob, I’m reliably informed that they’ve come out for him as well.

In contrast, though, there’s this:

The Twitter user who brought this to my attention pointed out the fact that Mr Schneider had been able to search his own history at leisure, in stark contrast to those of us of the Left (and/or who supported Jeremy Corbyn when he was Labour leader), who have had their social media postings pored over in excruciating detail over the past six years or so, by people trying to find anything even remotely objectionable. From personal experience, I can confirm that this happens.

“Shows who has been doing the witch hunting,” they said.

It is a valid point. But…

(For the record: the comment about David Baddiel in my tweet was not entirely accurate and I corrected it later on the thread. That said, while he deplored the joke, he still spoke in support of Carr as a personal friend. I’m not sure how he can reconcile that friendship with the fact that Carr told a joke that he himself has decried as “cruel and inhumane and mean-spirited and racist”. It seems these people are tying themselves in knots to justify their association with someone capable of such behaviour. But I digress.)

The bottom line?

People who haven’t said anything close to being as bad as Carr’s joke have suffered serious disruption to their lives and careers because blue-tick celebrities like those named above have denounced them. Again, I refer to personal interference.

If the same people suddenly want to give a free pass to someone who has actually said something genuinely appalling, then they need to start issuing apologies to everyone they have wronged by supporting the false accusations.

Sadly, I don’t see that happening, because: one rule for us – no rules for them.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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#PoliceBill attack on travellers is another step on Johnson’s journey to Hitlerian Nazism

Travellers: this is a council-run traveller site, so it looks orderly enough. But a proposed law means that even here the police could confiscate travellers’ homes, if officers don’t like the look of them.

Roma (or Romani); travellers; gypsies; diddycai; tinkers if you like. There are plenty of words for these almost universally maligned people.

They have a bad reputation because some of them are trespassers who will camp on any land, whether it is privately-owned or common, some of them are dirty and will leave their campsites filthy with litter, and some of them are prone to criminal behaviour.

In 1930s Germany, Hitler ramped up already-existing anti-gypsy laws to establish the pre-supposition that they were a “nuisance”, that they were criminal by their nature (so it follows that the authorities were allowed to assume they were criminals without them actually having to commit a crime), and that they should be moved on from encampments that were considered to cause a disturbance to the rest of the German population (in Hitler’s Germany, they were moved on into concentration camps where they were murdered in a holocaust that was every bit as brutal as the attempted genocide of the Jews).

Boris Johnson has been stealing policies from Hitler, it seems. Just take a look at his plans for travellers, as written into the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that has just won its first major vote in the House of Commons. Here’s Ian Dunt to explain it to you:

There. Police only need to assume that, because a traveller is there, they are likely to engage in criminal activity, and they can then treat that traveller as if they had been seen to commit such an act (even though they haven’t).

It’s like “pre-crime”, as described in the movie Minority Report, which turns the law on its head, allowing people to be arrested on the basis of predictions that they will commit crime. In the film, these predictions were not necessarily accurate. In this law, there isn’t even a requirement to be.

To recap: on sight of a traveller, the police may confiscate everything they own. And what will happen to them then? An arrest for vagrancy?

It sets innocent people up to be criminalised because of who they are, which is a well-recognised form of prejudice. Suppose Johnson targeted Jews. It would be an attack on these people because of who they are, not what they do. That is what we have here.

It isn’t quite racism, and it can’t be anti-Semitism, but the lesson of Hitler tells us it is just as bad.

Oh, and by the way, illegal traveller encampments could have been made a thing of the past if only local authorities had obeyed a 1968 law (the commenter below was adrift by a few years) that ordered them to provide standing sites for travellers to camp:

The Caravan Sites Act of 1968 led to the creation of 400 sites, but was ignored by many local authorities. I recall Powys County Council dragging its heels over demands for such sites within the last 10 years.

By breaking the law, council leaders (many of whom, I have no doubt, are Conservatives) made it possible for the current Conservative government to create the current legislation that demands that they be treated as criminals for no reason at all.

The Bill is sponsored by Priti Patel, who is already running concentration camps for refugees from foreign countries.

Where do you think she’ll open her first concentration camp for travellers? And what will they do next?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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UKIP backlash gains momentum with Farage radio interview

Friends in right-wing places: Nigel Farage with (among others) US right-wingers Ron Paul and James Beeland Rogers Jr. [Image swiped from Pride's Purge.]

Friends in right-wing places: Nigel Farage with (among others) US right-wingers Ron Paul and James Beeland Rogers Jr. [Image swiped from Pride’s Purge.]

LBC radio interviewer James O’Brien’s encounter with Nigel Farage has been gaining attention and approval up and down the UK, after it became clear that the charismatic UKIP leader wasn’t just defeated on many issues – he was routed.

Considering Farage’s own win against Nick Clegg in the televised debates earlier this year, it seems we’ve come to a lamentable situation in this country, where politicians can lose a battle of wits with anyone who has taken the time to do a little research.

That being said, if anyone were to ask who you would prefer to have running the country, it’s unlikely that either profession would figure in the top two.

The interviewer confirmed the findings of many social media bloggers over the past few days, starting with reference to two more UKIP members who had shown their true homophobic and hypocritical colours.

He quoted former UKIP council candidate John Lyndon Sullivan, who tweeted: “I rather often wonder, if we shot one poofter, whether the next 99 would decide on balance that they weren’t after all. We might then conclude that it’s not a matter of genetics but rather more a matter of education.”

And UKIP’s small business spokesman has employed seven illegal immigrants in the last year, said Mr O’Brien.

Farage employed the usual UKIP tactic, which is to demand that the questioner find out “what’s going on in the other parties”. O’Brien put him straight by pointing out that the other parties weren’t the issue at hand.

Later in the interview, he added: “The reason it doesn’t possess the same urgency as the UKIP conversation does is – (a) – the question of quantity; there is simply not the avalanche of bigotry emerging from other parties that emerges from yours, and – (b) – … the opinion polls do not report significant swathes of the country who are fearful that your party represents deeply divisive and racist ideas.”

He was saying it is possible that UKIP is influencing people into adopting those anti-immigrant and racist ideas themselves – and this theory has been borne out by some of the pro-UKIP comments on the Vox Political Facebook page (but you have to catch them quickly, before the perpetrators realise they’ve erred and remove them).

Regarding JL Sullivan, Farage said he wasn’t a councillor but a council candidate, then contradicted himself by saying he had not heard of that gentleman’s name. If that were true, how would Farage know whether he was a councillor or a candidate?

Farage’s assertion that he would face a disciplinary charge on whether he had brought the party into disrepute was punctured by the revelation that his tweet was made in February.

On the illegal immigrants, Farage’s defence was holed by the revelation that his small business spokesman resigned as a company director three days after the immigration raid.

A conversation about Farage’s discomfort, sitting in a train carriage in which nobody else spoke English, was surreal. When I was a student I had the unique pleasure of sharing a carriage with a crowd of French schoolchildren. That was uncomfortable too, but I didn’t attach any unreasonable baggage to it – it wasn’t an indication that French kids were overrunning Britain and it didn’t show that the French were all loud and overexcitable. It was one train carriage and Farage should have more of a sense of proportion.

O’Brien put his finger on the nerve and pressed hard: “The point you’re making is that schools in the East End are filled with children who cannot speak English. .. That’s not true… Children who are typified as speaking English as a second language would include your own daughters… Perhaps [if we checked] we would realise that most bilingual children in this country are children like yours?”

He continued, highlighting accusations of bigotry and hypocrisy: “What the caller asked you was why so many people think you’re racist… and… you talk about children who can’t speak English as a first language without mentioning it includes your own children.”

There was an implication that Farage, who has banned former members of the BNP from joining UKIP in an effort to protect the party from adverse publicity, has himself associated with the far-right organisation; and a question over the far-right parties with which UKIP sits in the European Parliament. Farage said UKIP would not sit with people who didn’t have a reasonable point of view but O’Brien flagged up a member of the group who had said the ideas of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer, Islamophobe, Anti-Semite and anti-feminist, were “in defence of Western civilisation”.

Farage’s paper-thin defence was that the European political discourse was very different to the UK, (again) an admission that his party had encountered problems with “one or two members”, and a reference to problems in other parties (the Conservatives, on this occasion)

O’Brien leapt on this: “Your defence so far is that you’re no different from any other political party and yet your unique selling point … is that you are different.” In addition, he pointed out that Farage refers to “members of the political class and their friends in the media”, while writing columns for the Independent and Express newspapers every week and appearing on the BBC’s Question Time more often than anyone apart from David Dimbleby.

Farage should count himself lucky he was not also asked about his connections with American right-wingers, including Ron Paul (Godfather of the Tea Party) and James Beeland Rogers Jr who, together with George Soros, engineered the British economic crash of 1992.

Farage tried to defend his way of equating Romanians with criminality by saying that Roma people in other countries have been forced into a situation where crime is their only option – and then was forced into a corner when O’Brien mentioned UKIP’s fearmongering poster, that claims millions of potential immigrants are after the jobs of British people. Wasn’t he demonising foreigners by saying they will take all the jobs and push crime up?

“I’m not demonising anyone,” said Farage, then contradicted himself: “I’m demonising a political class that has allowed us to have an open door that allowed things like this to happen.”

“So when I say Romanian and you start talking about people traffickers, why don’t you say people are perfectly entitled to feel uncomfortable about living next door to people traffickers, wherever they’re from?” asked Mr O’Brien. “Why do you say ‘Romanians’?”

Get ready for another contradiction: “I didn’t say Romanians; I was asked… if a group of Romanian men moved in next door to you, would you be concerned, and if you lived in London I think you would be.”

It was while Farage was being questioned on his expenses that Patrick O’Flynn, UKIP’s director of communications and former Daily Express political commentator, stepped in (claiming that O’Brien was over-running, 19 minutes into a 20-minute interview). Mr O’Brien’s response: “Is this a friend in the media or a member of the political class?”

Homophobia, racism, hypocrisy, and an incitement for others to display the same characteristics.

Does this country really need that kind of alternative to mainstream politics?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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