May 16, 2006

What? What? What? What?

Why do so many idiots post on the bbc news forums? I would put money on it, that if a survey was conducted of those people the average IQ would be well below 70.

This topic, is obviously going to be one of the worst, but there's plenty of ridiculousness going around for everyone:

Here's a great quote:

"We do indeed have extremism in our society. And that extremism is of anti–Britishness. No one is allowed to call themselves British, fly a Union Jack, refer to The British Empire or any thing else which might offend or upset anyone who does not consider themselves to be British. Further, this extremism comes from a tiny minority who are imposing their will on the rest of us. This is the extremism that the Government should be tackling."

Its almost a parody, and I'm not sure when reading this to be concerned or to just to laugh. For the record, here's a fair refutation:
1. Loads of people call themselves British
2. There is no Law against flying a Union Jack. Though flags are banned in Warwick University halls of residence.
3. The post itself referred to the British Empire – best shooting in the foot ever.

There's another great quote here: "When in Rome, do as the Romans/British do"

Another person seems to think that Britishness involves "Being Christian", whilst someone else geographically restricts Britain with the statement, "Regarding England as your home."

After a while the sarcastic posts tended to dominate, such as "This government turning into a dictatorship. Treating criminals softly and allowing them to do whatever they like and then increasing our taxes to pay for it." Frankly I think this guy is the most self delusional on the site. If we conjunct the adjacent sentences, logically valid since he is claiming that both propositions hold, we find that he thinks the country is a dictatorship thats gone soft. Brilliant!

Ahh well – at least it avoided doing revision for 10 minutes more.

- 7 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. You're not wrong – there are a lot of idiots posting on there and that has the effect of marginalising what is actually quite an important debate. Take this idiot for example:

    "Why should foreigners have to learn core British values when they reside here. You British never learnt the core values of our culture when you occupied our countries. Had you done so, then it would not have been a problem now a days."

    Disregarding the issue of 'letting bygones be bygones', surely this bloke is missing the point entirely? If you're a foreigner (i.e. not a British citizen) then it doesn't matter what your values are. If, on the other hand, you've chosen to live here over your country of birth and have taken up permanent residency/citizenship then surely you are British by your own choice? Speaking as the British born child of immigrants, I consider myself to be wholly British (a fact often lamented by my mother). I was raised here, English is my first language, I was taught in the English school system. That is not to say that I'm unaware of my ethnic heritage, but culturally I'm British.

    Compare and contrast this with the view espoused above (assuming the author is a British citizen/permanent resident, rather than merely a visitor to our fair shores). It is a stance that I have too often seen reflected in immigrants and their children (note that in this case I would draw a line between 'immigrants' and 'refugees') – an attempt to desperately pretend that the society they have chosen to live in is not better than the one they left behind. If that's the case, then why have you not returned?

    16 May 2006, 13:34

  2. I saw a lot of criticism of that comment, though someone did imply that it was that attitude that meant Britain should ban immigration. To be honest its a ridiculous debate: defining Britishness is well nigh impossible. Where do you start: according to those idiots on the bbc website Liberalism is destroying British values, ignoring that the term Liberty was pretty much defined by a British Philosopher, though in reality they are refering to some kind of vague pseudo–socialism that people have now bastardised the term to mean, I recall wikipedia having a surprisingly readable introduction to the subject.

    16 May 2006, 13:40

  3. I don't disagree that trying to define Britishness is self–defeating. The history of the British archipelago can be distilled to "some random guys turned up (through invasion, invitation, vacation, etc), quite liked the place, settled down and soon were indistinguishable from the locals", repeated ad nauseum. What it means to be British will constantly change.

    I've already made my views on the subject clear, but to reiterate: the attitudes of some immigrants (and indeed British "natives") make this trend of inclusiveness and integration within the British Isles seem less and less likely to continue.

    16 May 2006, 14:12

  4. Dan

    Why d'you bother to read those forums? Sure enough, a flick through the first three pages of comments revealed no more than a couple of posts that weren't utterly hate–filled. And then I realised that they were listed in order of popularity!

    16 May 2006, 14:27

  5. Well I only read the first couple of pages myself. I am always interested to read the bbc forums, in the hope that someone has said something sensible. Sadly the level of optimism seems to reduce every time.

    16 May 2006, 14:33

  6. Gareth Herbert

    I don't see small minded hatred and bigotry, but rather profound disillusionment with the current state of the UK and a wounded sense of national pride. Many people are frustrated with the state of our national identity and have deeply held concerns over issues like 'multiculturalism' and an unfettered immigration system. The fact that not all of them have a PHD to their name and don't express their views quite so elaborately does not detract from their worthiness.

    17 May 2006, 06:26

  7. I'll presume that was sarcasm, not as funny as the original comments, sry.

    17 May 2006, 08:03

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