Welcome to edition 209 of Britblog Roundup, the weekly summary of British blogging.
We’ll start with Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was banned from entering Britain this week. Not surprisingly, a lot of people had something to say about this.
Jim Jay says Wilders is a hypocrite.
David Grace though Chris Huhne made a mess of defending the government’s ban.
Witterings From Witney uses the Wilders controversy to suggest immigrants to Britain should integrate.
Sunny Hundal links Wilders with the Satanic Verses controversy and says these controversies are about a search for identity.
David Semple thinks Wilders is ridiculous.
Andrew Ian Dodge says Wilders “is on the very front line in the battle for free expression”.
The Heresiarch says:
The decision to ban Geert Wilders from Britain has all the hallmarks of clumsiness, lack of perspective and cowardice in the face of organised bullying that we have come to expect from the Home Office.
The Heresiarch also notes that:
In his defence of the Wilders ban, Miliband used the old line about there being no right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre. But there is, of course, if there happens to be a fire.
Not A Sheep thinks anti-Muslim extremists are breing treated more harshly than anti-Jewish ones, and wonders ‘if this Labour government are actually trying to provoke “community unrest” so that they can implement the Civil Contingency Act’.
Archbishop Cranmer is incredulous that he’s been barred from the UK. Cranmer also publishes the speech Wilders would have given to the House of Lords, and a statement by Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson .
Charles Crawford says the Syrian government does more harm to Muslims than Geert Wilders has.
Letters From A Tory writes about Julia Robinson, who resigned as headteacher of Meersbrook Bank primary school in Sheffield, due to clashes with Muslim parents:
Personally, I think the law that children at state schools “shall on each school day take part in an act of collective worship”, which should be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”, is a bit of a joke. I think our country is sufficiently diverse to require something more ‘inclusive’, and the reality is that the only ‘inclusive’ way of educating children is through secular means where no child is separated from another on the basis of their religion. These Muslim parents seem to have forced you out because you believe that everyone should be treated the same, yet that is precisely what headteachers should be trying to do.
Archbishop Cranmer, however, thinks it’s right that she went:
The clueless journalist for The Daily Telegraph who ignorantly writes ‘Muslim parents should obey the law of the land’ manifestly has no idea at all of what the law actually says on this matter. His or her ignorance has only served as swill for the bigotry of other journalists who speak about Muslim ‘ghettos’ and splutter their usual ignorant ad hominem pontifications on the matter, simultaneously bloating their own egos whilst feeding the trolls.
Chris Dillow doesn’t think Britain is sleepwalking towards a police state; instead he thinks we’re marching there.
Jonathan Calder looks at rise of concern over skin cancer:
To find an explanation for the rise of concern about exposure to the sun, we have to look elsewhere. That rise took place in that odd period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. Rather than congratulate themselves in living in a happy age, people looked for something else to worry about – hence the emergence of strange scares like the satanic ritual abuse of children and the millennium bug. Maybe skin cancer was another one of those.
Peter Ashley muses about what we should call old people.
Looking back on The Satanic Verses, the Heresiarch thinks Rushdie knew the reaction the book would get:
Yet it is impossible to read it today without feeling that, at some level, Rushdie knew exactly what would happen.
Archbishop Cranmer think’s it is “utterly in accordance with nature” that Alfie Patten is a father at 13, and is appalled at the negativity being heaped on him.
Andrew Ian Dodge is scathing about the gvoernment’s Digital Britain report:
In fact, Lord Carter, a firm believer in the big government New Labour mantra, is aiming for his quango to further erode the private enterprise that is internet provision. Now Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have to spy on their users. In effect, this report aims to nationalize ISPs as part of the security services. Being a government backed idea, you will have to pay the quango £20 a year so they can make ISPs spy on you while limiting their ability to provide you with the best service they can.
Charles Crawford thinks the Working Time Directive will harm hospital patients.
The F Word looks at the new economics foundation’s National Accounts of Wellbeing:
It found that, across Europe, men are generally happier than women. There are, of course, exceptions. The men and women of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland are about equally happy. The men and women of Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia and Estonia are about equally unhappy.
Archbishop Cranmer is not impressed by the government’s “Muslim Women Power List 2009”:
Can you imagine the Government funding a ‘Christian Women Power List’, and then splashing out hard-earned taxpayers’ money during a deep recession (or depression) to advertise it across central government departments?
And it is not only Christians who might be irked by this, for what of the ‘Sikh Women Power List’, or the ‘Hindu Women Power List’, or the ‘Jewish Women Power List’, or the ‘Buddhist Women Power List’. Not to mention the ‘Atheist Women Power List’ and the ‘Jedi Knight Women Power List’ (can women be knights?). And Cranmer won’t even bother asking about the ‘Men Power Lists’. Or the ‘Lesbian Muslim Women Power List’, or the ‘Gay Jedi Knight Men Power List’, etc., etc.
And that’s it!
That’s it for this week. Thanks go to all who submitted nominations. Next week’s Britblog Roundup will be hosted by Chameleon at Redemption Blues; nominations should go to the usual address — britblog AT gmail DOT com.