The story behind the Telegraph’s “reluctant racists” article


by Tim Fenton    
10:30 am - January 30th 2013

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Yesterday, the appearance in the Telegraph of an article under the by-line of Jane Kelly, titled “I feel like a stranger where I live” brought a predictably Islamophobic tone to proceedings. Kelly tells how Acton Vale has changed “almost overnight” into “Acton Veil”.

But then you get to the end of the piece. And here, readers are informed that Ms Kelly “is consulting editor of the ‘Salisbury Review’”. Anyone not hearing alarm bells ringing long and loud may not have made the connection.

The Salisbury Review was founded in 1982 under the editorship of Roger Scruton, and promoted as a journal of “traditional Conservatism” of the small state variety. However, the Review also espoused the concept of voluntary repatriation for those it labelled immigrants.

But very few people read it, at least for the first two years. Then an article on race and education by headmaster Ray Honeyford was reproduced – not by accident – in the rabidly Conservative Yorkshire Post. The Honeyford Affair looked set to initially damage, but then made the career of, up and coming West Yorkshire politician Eric Pickles.

When Honeyford died last year, the Telegraph willingly reproduced his Review piece.

Put directly, the Telegraph’s staff know what the Salisbury Review is about. When they get its “consulting editor” to pen an article about what it’s like to live in an area of west London where there is a significant Muslim population, they are sure enough about the result that they disallow comments on it.

They cannot be surprised when Ms Kelly asserts “mass immigration is making reluctant racists of us all”. Nor can they be surprised at some of the characterisations used: her part of Acton “has been transformed into a giant transit camp and is home to no one”.

She whines that “most of the tills in my local shops are manned by young Muslim men who mutter into their mobiles as they are serving”. Yes, they’re bloody busy having to do several things at once. Welcome to the world of the overworked small businessman.

The Telegraph ought to be ashamed of publishing this drivel, yet it went ahead, knowing exactly what its source would write.

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About the author
Tim is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He blogs more frequently at Zelo Street
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Reader comments


Not really sure what your point is – the writer of the piece is a bona fide Acton resident and her status vis a vis the Salisbury Review was noted at the end of the piece. For you to write in tones of breathless indignation as if you have discovered some kind of deception is ridiculous. Not everyone (not even a majority actually) agrees with you that immigration is good for society. Get over it.

2. Green Co-operator

Honeyford’s link to Eric Pickles and the latter’s rise as a result of the affair:

http://www.1in12.com/publications/library/pickles/chap3.htm

3. Abdul Abulbul Emir

Mrs A says:

Hurrah Abdul.

A real indigenous Brit has spoken out.

They are such a quiet reserved folk that we don’t really know what they think of us newcomers.

They smile wanly if at all in our direction and pass on.

That’s the few who hang around these days.

But you know Abdul it’s the quiet ones you have to watch…

4. Green Co-operator

Honeyford’s links to Eric Pickles chronicled here: http://www.1in12.com/publications/library/pickles/chap3.htm

@Andrew Amesbury #1:

I think that Tim’s point is a very simple one; that the Telegraph deliberately commisssioned a racist article from “one Londoner” who “writes a provocative personal piece about how immigration has drastically changed the borough where she has lived for 17 years”.

@Robin

I think that Tim’s point is a very simple one; that the Telegraph deliberately commissioned a racist article from “one Londoner” who “writes a provocative personal piece about how immigration has drastically changed the borough where she has lived for 17 years”.

Ah. So Tim was merely celebrating the proof this article provides that free speech is alive and well in the UK and has not yet been obliterated by anti-racists of a totalitarian disposition.

Excellent. I agree with him.

My first reading had suggested an implication that such articles should not be published. I’m grateful you have cleared this up.

I too think that too much is made here about the person who has written the article. Because she’s from the Salisbury Review it seems that everything she says should be dismissed.
I don’t particularly agree with the way she brought up the ”Muslim Patrols” that were going around harassing people, as those idiots are just a small number of unrepresentative antagonistic wind-up merchants looking to cause trouble.

But ”extreme multiculturalism” such as in the Acton neighbourhood she’s talking about is a completely legitimate area of discussion IMO.
You might not like her view, but it’s a serious and complex issue and not one to be swept under the carpet, like I got the feeling the OP was doing.
And tbh, I think like LC has been doing for a long time now.

Areas like she describes will never be to everyone’s liking. I don’t like them that much either actually.
Not so much because of what they are – almost like bedsit-land transitory areas where the ”churn” of people is very high – I don’t mind that bit so much.
But it’s a lack of anyway of talking about what the reality of such areas actually is that kind of gets on my nerves.
I was living in another such area in the autumn, in Harehills in east Leeds.
People from any – and everywhere have been moving into Harehills in the last few years and it becomes very different to what it was.

At the job centre, many the people signing-on (it seems) are from places like Afghanistan and such places. I know that because I was sitting there next to them.
The area was very run down and poor already, and it seemed like it was a ”dumping ground” for new arrivals like asylum seekers and Roma people, and you could see the strain that it put on social services just by spending time in the library/social services centre (which I did).

I just came back from Tel Aviv on monday, and spent some time down in the south of the city near the bus station where there are (literally) thousands of African asylum seekers from Eretria who have turned the area into a proper ghetto. I’m not exaggerating, you can smell the urine when you walk across some car parks and vacant lots in the area. The pedestrian precinct is turned into a bazaar each afternoon and evening, and the side streets are brothels and Eretrian bars and resturant/hangout places.
http://forward.com/articles/129695/in-the-tel-aviv-bus-station-underground-economy-fl/

I only mention this, because sometimes there actually is a problem, or there are serious issues that need to be addressed and you can’t just put it down to ”paranoid racism” by people like the the woman from the Salisbury Review.

Things have got out of hand in Tel Aviv, and a legitimate question is whether any areas in English towns and cities have ever done so also in this regard.

8. Robin Levett

@pagar #6:

I’m not quite sure where you got that interpretation from.

I think that both Tim and I would celebrate the fact that freedom of speech exists; what seems to be beyond your understanding is that we can, as here, also deplore the way in which some exercise that freedom of speech. The Telegraph has the right to publish dishonest racist drivel; it should not however do so.

Quite so. By exercising their freedom to publish racist articles they have moved a further step away from being the newspaper of record they used to be. Maily Telegraph indeed.

What – exactly – is racist about the article in the Telegraph?

The author is pointing out some of the disadvantages of mass immigration. She’s not even denying that immigration has many advantages; and she’s certainly not calling for confrontation or repatriation.

Moreover, the Telegraph describes the article as “provocative”, and does not offer the opportunity to comment (which would only have offered a platform to EDL and BNP types).

Is it not now generally agreed that Honeyford was very badly treated and that he did have something of a point about lack of integration??

This is stupid. Acton was totally colonized by Australian immigrants a long while back

I think the issue Tim is touching on is the dishonest framing of the article. It’s presented as the story of an everywoman, just an ordinary local who has decided to speak out. A ‘reluctant’ racist. When in fact she’s a political writer who’s affiliated with a right-wing journal with a history of racist and anti-immigrant agitation.

More proof of what “concerns about immigration” really means.

Tim,

You read the article and thought “Raaaaasciiiiist!!!!’

and

Gordon Brown called a Lancastrian granny a ‘bigoted old woman’ behind her back after hearing her concerns about immigration.

Could people please desist from making this knee-jerk reaction whenever immigration is being discussed?

As an aside I recently saw an old film on youtube that I hadn’t seen since the early 1970′s. S.W.A.L.K. (Melody) was Alan Parker’s first movie – set in a secondary school in Inner London with most of the child actors being kids from local schools. I noticed the kids were predominantly white and there were far fewer vehicles on the road and lots of industrial buildings were still there.
Does that make me a racist, nostalgic utopian?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktZHbfw00eE

What the hell is a “reluctant” racist? Kelly sounds dishonest to me. She’s more than likely been a racist all her life by the sound of things.

Simon @ 13:

What is “dishonest” about the “framing” of the article when the Telegraph (a) describes it as “provocative” in the lead-in and (b) mentions that the author is associated with The Salisbury Review (which anyone reading online can google)?

And what is your evidence that the Salisbury Review has “a history of racist and anti-immigrant agitation”? The 1984 Ray Honeyford article, which argued only that the then PC dogma of “multiculturalism” prevented cultural integration and reduced the educational performance of immigrant children? Honeyford worked in a school with 90% immigrant children, and he was largely supported by the parents:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16968930

And, as Trevor Phillips has suggested, multiculturalism should die: it suggests separation, when we need integration – with, of course, the layered identity we all (indigenous population included) have to some extent. There have been successful multi-racial societies;but there has never been a successful (literally) multi-cultural society.

More importantly, what do you mean by ‘racist’ and ‘racism’? ISTM, the concept of ‘racism’ (as opposed to ‘racialism’)is deeply flawed – and also used to shut down discussion about the disadvantages of mass immigration.

Chris @ 14:

“More proof of what “concerns about immigration” really means.”

Immigration has many advantages; but it also has many disadvantages – from the spread of disease (SARS, TB)to ghettoisation. The localised cultural impact of mass immigration can be severe – as the Jane Kelly article indicates. To dismiss such localised cultural changes as “racist” is either wilful ideological blindness or a form of autism.

We will not get the huge benefits of immigration in the UK unless we are prepared to manage the serious disadvantages.

18. Truth Spokesman 3ff45551000000

http://www.islingtontribune.com/news/2012/jan/islington-girls-forced-marriage-age-nine

WHERE…..IS……YOUR……STORY?? Fucking ‘Liberals’!

Islington girls forced into marriage at the age of nine

Girls are married off to family friends or family members to stop them from losing their virginity to anyone not chosen by their father.

In most cases, the children fear they will be killed if they reveal the truth to anybody,

“They are still expected to carry out their wifely duties, though, and that includes sleeping with their husband,” she said.

“They have to cook for them, wash their clothes, everything. They are still attending schools in Islington, struggling to do their primary school homework, and at the same time being practically raped by a middle-aged man regularly and being abused by their families. So they are a wife, but in a primary school uniform.

buddyhell @ 16:

“She’s more than likely been a racist all her life by the sound of things.”

So “the sound of things” is evidence of her being a “racist”?

What is ‘racism’, buddyhell?

20. Northern Worker

Robin Levett @ 5

Robin, having followed your posts and even clashed the odd time, I am surprised that you try to close down any debate by reaching for the ‘racist’ word. I thought you were better than that.

Northern Worker @ 20:

Of Robin Levett @ 5: “I am surprised that you try to close down any debate by reaching for the ‘racist’ word.”

Having debated with RL before, I’m not in the least surprised by this particular gambit of his.

Robin Levett: please, can you define ‘racism’? Then we’ll all know what is what…

Gordon Brown called a Lancastrian granny a ‘bigoted old woman’ behind her back after hearing her concerns about immigration.

To be fair it is somewhat hard to take someone’s concerns seriously when one of said questions of concern is “all these Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?”

My guess would be Canada…

Everytime you think the Telegraph can’t go any lower they manage to drop a few more floors.

But as the paper of the tory paty I guess they have to reflect how unhinged the tory party has become. A bunch of posh morons and racist climate deniers. Tobby Young, who can’t even hold a job at The Sun. And James Delingpole who apparently is moving from climate denial to harassment and bullying of the disabled. Big tough men these tory libertarians are these days. NOT

There is a wiff of Nazism in Delinpole demonizing of the disabled. As a libertarian he must resent these people getting tax payers money to look after them. Perhaps he dreams of some final solution where the handicapped can be despatched? No wonder he is such demand at Fox news. (Although they have been clearing away the crazies like Sarah Palin)

Just shows the tories are increasingly becoming as mad, and extreme as the Republicans.

The real antisemitism is on the right. Always has been and always will be. It’s only since the conservaives bought into the looney Christian right wing crazy beliefs that Jesus can’t return to earth until Israel is secure.

Then The rapture will take place and all Christians will ascend to meet their God.( no seriously, I’m not making this up. This cobblers really is now mainstream conservative policy.)

Of course the Jews who do not convert will die in Armageddon. So much for Christian conservatives real love of Jews.

This would all be hilarious, and very funny if it was not serious international conservative policy. You can’t blame Israel for taking advantage of such insanity.

25. Robin Levett

@Northern Worker and TONE:

There is perhaps a clue in the author’s parting words, describing herself as a reluctant racist; it is the reluctant part of that description with which I quarrel – I’m surprised you reject the “racist”.

Be that as it may, I’m using racism in a pretty standard meaning; judging people by (often the worst) stereotypes of the racial or ethnic group to which they belong, and treating their worst behaviour as characteristic of their race or ethnicity.

For example; in the passage:

…most of the tills in my local shops are manned by young Muslim men who mutter into their mobiles as they are serving…

what does the word “Muslim” add? Is she really suggesting that it is a unique characteristic of young Muslim men, not shared by young Muslim women, or young white men or women, that they mutter into their mobiles when they should be paying attention to what they are doing?

And as for trying to close down the debate; where the hell did that come from?

26. Suburban Tory

Why has my commment from yesterday disappeared?

Sally accuses others of anti-semitism but believes in an international Jewish conspiracy, that ALL Jews are Israel firsters and that Israel controls the British Government.

When I mention her anti-semitism I am deleted.

Why are you protecting Sally from fair criticism?

27. Suburban Tory

Why has my comment from yesterday disappeared?

Sally accuses others of anti-semitism but believes in an International Jewish Conspiracy, that ALL Jews are Israel firsters and that Israel controls the British Government.

When I point out her anti-semitism my comment is deleted.

Why are you defending Sally from fair criticism?

She whines that “most of the tills in my local shops are manned by young Muslim men who mutter into their mobiles as they are serving”. Yes, they’re bloody busy having to do several things at once. Welcome to the world of the overworked small businessman.

Many of the young men who work in the shops are not businessmen, but hired staff. Does it matter where anyone comes from? I have heard complaints from the likes of Lee Jasper that Brixton has had too many white middle class people moving into it.

The shops and busnisses in Finsbury Park became home to quite a bit of criminality (according to the police) in 2008. So much so that they did a massive early morning raid on the area.

Hundreds of police officers raided 19 premises on a London street as part of a crackdown on crime.
Some 600 officers sealed off part of Blackstock Road in north London to carry out the raid on Thursday.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7317060.stm

Finsbury Park is another of these areas like the one in Acton. Most of the shops run by people from Asia originally. Both long standing settled people, and newer migrants looking for their first jobs in the country. As a local person in the area, you might have no clue as to what kind of paralell world goes on right under your nose. Who are these guys? Legitimate immigrants, asylum seekers, overstayers, students?
It always seems rude to ask. A lot of the Algerians in Finsbury Park were asylum seekers at first I think.

I just heard this BBC ”Assignment” programme on the radio this morning about the number of Roma children coming to the concern of UK social services.
It’s the kind of thing that the woman from the Salisbury Review would highlight I’m sure.

The Roma are Europe’s biggest ethnic minority, and a substantial number of them have moved to Britain in recent years, taking advantage of the EU’s open borders to seek a better life. However, it’s emerged that a disproportionate number of their children end up in the care of local authorities, temporary foster parents, or sometimes put up for permanent adoption. The BBC’s Simon Cox travels to the north of England to meet some of the country’s biggest Roma communities to find out why.

It is a story of two very different approaches to parenting: The UK, like many western countries, takes a safety-first approach to child welfare. Yet it seems Roma parents prefer a looser, more informal style. Stories of young Roma children being allowed to wander the streets at night, even in bad weather; have helped fuel perceptions among the indigenous population of child neglect.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013lw25

The numbers were quite surprising also. Over 3,000 Roma people living in Rotherham. David Blunket said it was a growing issue in his Sheffield constituency too.
But does it matter one bit? The main liberal and left view seems to be, no. It’s a bit of a headache if you are a social worker who has to deal with them though.
In Slovakia, they regard what our social services do as ”child stealing”.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20770420

@19

“What is ‘racism’, buddyhell”?

Laughable. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen right-wingers come out with this bullshit.

And as for trying to close down the debate; where the hell did that come from?

That particular ploy was at the very least made commonplace by the now deceased Andrew Breitbart.

Anyone not hearing alarm bells ringing long and loud may not have made the connection.

The Salisbury Review was founded in 1982 under the editorship of…. Roger Scruton!!!!1

Gasp!

What actually is the substantive point of Tim Fenton’s article, can anyone tell me? That, whatever else the Telegraph does, it certainly shouldn’t publish any articles by traditional conservatives? That racism is, like, really bad?


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