On the Moving Train: Howard Zinn, 1922-2010

Right up until the present day did Howard Zinn engage in heated political debate, choosing not to toe a line, but push boundaries, and integrate untypical language and concepts into a political field which has stayed much the same – with war, and poverty. You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train is of course the title of his autobiography, but no truer words have been spoken. Not only must we recognise that if we switch off from affairs that affect us, this allows the unpalatable of this earth to swoop in, but neutrality itself is a position which can not be an option, we are thrown – as Heidegger said – into the world, and the space with which we occupy as a consequence is our starting pad to change the world, to acknowledge that the train is moving, and operate the same.

On Obama, Zinn identified little other than rhetoric, “I don’t see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies” he exclaimed. But the point is not to stop there. Zinn explains further that “people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president … unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.”

The flirtation with whether Obama marked the era of post-racial society would have stirred uneasy with Zinn. A black president is not the end point at which we sit hands on heads, it is necessary to manoeuvre thereon – democracy has no such an end point, democracy is the motion with which neutrality is not an option. Like Dr. Cornel West hoped of Obama, he will be a “progressive Lincoln” so that West can be the “Frederick Douglass [abolitionist who held talks with Lincoln in 1863 on the treatment of black soldiers] to put pressure on him.” Zinn would have wanted Frederick Douglass’ of us all!

Proof of Zinn’s “redemptive politics of activism“, and his Lenin-esque attitudes towards leadership*, can not be found in any better place than during the interview with Harry Kreisler, where upon the question of his first teaching assignment at Spelman college, Zinn noted that “I learned more from my students than my students learned from me”. His time living in the south, before the black movement geared up to fight for their rights, was an enriching experience for Zinn, one in which he notes “I began to look at history from a black point of view. It looks very different from a black point of view.”

In the words of Eddie Vedder, whose song “Down” was inspired by his friendship to Zinn finishes: “So long“.

Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

*Leaders are not born, Lenin held; they must be trained

Prison ships: Float your boat?

Prison hulks, the last of which the government sold in 2005 owing to lack of fresh air and lack of promotion of exercise, are the new in-thing for (half of the) Tories. The idea, said to be floated by that timely wonderboy Andy Coulson, or so some Conservatives are saying.

The Tories in support, seeing it as a way of to fulfill David Cameron’s statement on the shortage of prison space, want to raise dosh for the so-called nautical nicks. But appointing places for such an arrangement will be met with much antagonism, especially or those places said to be fit for the hulks. Tilbury, in Essex, is said to be one of those target places. Labour councillor Carl Morris, who is hoping to replace Andrew Mackinlay, noted that “We successfully fought these stupid ideas in both 2004 and 2006. In the first instance I think the ship was even brought to the Thames but never used.”

Frances Crook of the The Howard League  for Penal Reform, noted that Alan Duncan spoke at a seminar in Oxford last week floating (!) rather “colourful” language about what the Tories will do about overcrowding etc., but urged readers of her blog not to conflate this with support from the front bench.

The prison boat “practice was popular with the British government in the 18th and 19th centuries” and we were evidently good at sinking Nazi prisoner boats, but as for investing once again, I’m not convinced.

Another vague notice is the “target” areas that will have prisons closed in order to fund the boats. Where they? Personally, I don’t think Cam will have it, and the idea is supposed to be one of many just being thrown out there, probably just hype. I might not even write a blog post about it.

Why I am Left Wing

Open Left, the project for which James Purnell is the director at Demos – “renewing the thinking and ideas of the political Left” – asked various types their reasoning for being left-wing. I had a couple of minutes so I answered the questionnaire. As follows:

What is it about your political beliefs that puts you on the Left rather than the Right?:

The so-called political surgeons are attempting to suture up the old left/right divisions, but the fair arrangement of capital, the welfare state and the public services are best overseen by those with everyone’s best interests, regardless of class. It is on the left that these values will stay put, where the right might only flirt with them for political gain.

What do you consider made you Left wing?:

Initially it would have been a mixture of two things; discussions with my Grandad who worked for the TGWU, and discussions with participants at anti-BNP/NF demonstrations (which I would attend before I had been politicised).

How would you describe the sort of society you want Britain to be?

One in which Government isn’t held to ransom by the City. A society that measures success by fairness and equality and not by growth. A society where information is not dealt to the highest bidder, where education isn’t seen as an investment but a right, where pension pots are safe from economic fluctuations. A society where the Labour party is the Labour Party again.

What one or two changes would make the biggest difference to bringing that about?

Firstly, to root out the bad wood in the Labour party, those careerists, rightists, and opportunists who figure the best way to win elections is to meet head-on with the Tories, then secondly turn our backs to donators who hold the party ransom for their own personal clout.

What most makes you angry about the way Britain is now?

Sidelining discussion for compromise. James Purnell hit the nail on the head when he said that Labour’s lack of debate on immigration put their political clarity on the subject in flux, and in impromptu discussion on the matter just seem lagging on the back foot. Politics in Britain, when its not in compromise, its contrarian, and this is enough to make any left-winger go red in the face.

Which person, event, era or movement from the past should we look to for inspiration now?

Saint Paul; he knew that political salvation was not meant to be for a select committee, but for everyone, regardless of race, creed or class.

Is Nick Cohen a Neoconservative?

Nick Cohen is now very much in the business of criticising leftists who, according to him are in ‘bad faith’ about a number of issues, namely our opinions on Muslims, the Middle Eastern far-right and the war on terror. Sunder Katwala, who applied the term bad faith to the way Cohen viewed the left, had his lion’s share of the attack, when Cohen accused the Fabian Society of never having, or planning to promote the work of Muslim liberals who criticise fundamentalists. Responses back and forth ensued as Katwala pointed out that Cohen had shared the stage with one such Muslim at a ‘Future of Britishness’ conference held by the Fabian society in 2006.

Katwala picked out another important detail in his retaliatory attack, that ‘We also have here the well-known phenomenon of the zeal of the convert. That is why several of the keenest neo-cons and Thatcherites had been Marxists’. There is a lot of weight in this comment, much of which has been dealt with by political philosopher John Gray (there is some minor convergence here that might as well be pointed out, that though Gray and Katwala are very different politically, Gray is formerly of the LSE, the school founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sydney Webb, early members of the Fabian society).

In the twentieth century, according to John Gray, most notably in his book Black Mass, owing to a kind of spiritual vacuum, whether rightly or wrongly as a by-product of an age of scientific rationalism, faith-based utopian cults were the preserve of certain political projects. The two most obvious examples are Soviet Communism and Nazism. Gray points out that inherent to these projects is a disavowed desire for what is known as Abrahamic End-Time – a common theme in all three monotheistic religions that sees all who give themselves to God be purified and strengthened by persecution, a short period of time before the return of the Messiah – in Communism this is structured around the Hegelian influenced end-of-history – the end point of socioeconomic evolution – and in Nazism it is the subsequent dominance of the white race, and destruction of the Jews.

Unable to operate without religiously inspired ideas, secularism, according to Gray, is doomed to forever be consumed by Christian eschatology, or the view that society and the economy will eventually converge. John Gray identifies this notion not just in political projects of old, but in concurrent projects also, namely the neoconservative attempts to install democracy in the Middle East. Even if you ignore for the moment George Bush’s pursuit for evil – and the seriously questionable tones of the voice of God telling him to go to war – the war effort in Iraq had as its intellectual infrastructure ideas grounded in utopianism and convergence of social values, two things that were never on the cards any time soon in Iraq. The appeals to Christian End-Time were never more apparent than when Lt Col Brandl alarmingly stated that ‘The enemy has got a face – he’s called Satan, he’s in Falluja, and we’re going to destroy him’.

As John Gray himself has said:

Invading and occupying Iraq was never justified by any clear national interest. Since the end of the first Gulf War, Saddam has posed no serious threat to the US or to Britain. No evidence has ever existed of a connection between him and al-Qa’ida – though in the chaos of post-war Iraq the remnants of the regime may be linking up with radical Islamists to attack US forces.

Saddam was a tyrant, but the coordinates for the liberal intervention were predicated on the fact that it was of national interest, which, of course it was not.

Neoconservatism is a utopian-based political project much like the terror of Robespierre or the murderous regimes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Hitler. Forces were sent to deliver “freedom” without any evidence of Iraq ever taking kindly to an installed liberal democratic programme and without any substantial evidence that attack was in ‘national interest. Despite what Cohen would have you believe, this opinion is not informed by cultural relativism or denial that evil doing had taken place under Saddam’s watch, but it is a question of the motives of the war, and whether the effort could viably safeguard against the mobilisation of fundamentalism in the aftermath, which I’m tempted to say it can not.

For those who say Nick Cohen has moved to the right I say hold back. Cohen has actually operated a utopianism common to neoconservatism and elements of left wing thinking that has unfortunately taken End-Time out of its Christian context and applied it to an existing version of secularism that can only be identified as doomed to failure. As Geoffrey Wheatcroft has alluded to about Cohen, via the Euston Manifesto signatories, why doesn’t he just come out as imperialist, after all he’d be in familiar company, ‘Mill, Macaulay and even Marx made approving noises about British rule in India’?

Stating the bleedin’ obvious

Al Sharpton: “Obama’s first year has shown that the United States is not a post-racial society“.

Well you could blow me down with a feather!

Has the fiscal stimulus argument won the day?

At the end of 2008 a European challenge was erupting – stimulus or hands on heads.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy who voiced his aggravation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not implementing a measure of fiscal stimulus said, “While France is working, Germany is thinking.”

Is there not something philosophically pleasing about what he said; France as a nation of philosophers working with material means, inside a philosophically materialist frame (Comte, Debord, Deleuze, Derrida, Sartre, Badiou) whereas Germany exploring idealism – enlightened through thinking and pure thought (Kant, Schelling, Hegel, Fichte, Reinhold, Schleiermacher).

Merkel was actually remaining loyal to the “Stability and Growth Pact” (SGP) originally proposed by the former Finance Minister Theo Waigel at the beginning of the 1990’s and agreed at the EU summit in Dublin in 1997, the purpose of which was to tune the euro so it would be able to compete with the US Dollar and strengthen the stability of the euro-zone.

Now, in January 2010 we might be starting to see some early signs of this European challenge. The UK has had a surprise fall in unemployment figures – which may have part-time jobs to account for.

Two notions at play here need attention; firstly that old Keynesian misunderstanding (see Michael Stewart’s chapter on balance of payments in his book Keynes and After for more information as to why this is a Keynesian misunderstanding) that unemployment is a symbol of too little demand. If part-time work has been used as a means of curbing unemployment, then naturally it is safe to assume productivity won’t increase any more than if half of those numbers were all fully employed, so therefore it is wrong to assume that unemployment in itself is a marker of too little demand (just as it is wrong to assert that rising prices, according to Michael Stewart, is a marker of too much demand).

Second thing at play here is that just because unemployment is dropping in a country that employed a fiscal stimulus, and a country that didn’t employ such a measure that has increased levels of unemployment, doesn’t mean that this is the natural course of events of both implementations, just as the fact that photo of a criminal whose whereabouts are unknown is released and that criminal gets caught, that that photo had anything to do with the catching process.

The French Finance Ministry expects France to lose 71,000 jobs this year, mostly in the first half, despite the fact that the economy is expected to expand by 1.4% in 2010.

One thing is for sure, as it stands, it does look good for Brown, who will be seen, before the election, to have saved people from unemployment, and not  doing what the Conservatives would’ve done by – well, nothing at all. Like in Berlin the doing nothing option was taken, and results have shown it to not be favourable.

This, as Larry Elliot put it today in the Guardian, will be a pre-election gift to Brown. Lets just hope he doesn’t have to anything in the mean time that could jeopardise his chances in the run up to an election, like by having to testify to the Iraq enquiry…oh dear!

Rod Liddle and shock politics

January last year the independent journalist Ian Burrell interviewed Rod Liddle, to try and get to the bottom of all the offence he causes the ‘liberal left’. It’s all to cause a stir, we find, luckily (phew!), to wind up the band of loonies who operate on the basis of, let us call it “political correctness gone mad”!

Liddle, in the interview, proved that his racist jibes were little more than immature twaddle: “I find racist jokes funnier now than I did 30 years ago because it’s so socially unacceptable”.

But he soon flits back into what we know is a serious comment – “I’ve never had a go at Muslims, I’ve always had a go at Islam” (I’ve said elsewhere what might be wrong with some people’s attempts do this).

The reason, it says in the interview, that Liddle doesn’t live in London is because he would prefer to be away from the liberal elite – usually the sorts who would be in Liddle’s profession. But judging by his Spectator blog entry – that Spectator blog entry – it might have something to do with his opinion that ‘[t]he overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community’ – of which, as Dianne Abbott has said, is “statistically false,” about the crimes which Liddle has listed (if anything it is disproportionate, in which case to mockingly suggest this is a contribution, ignores the proper commitment to uncovering what the causes are. The extent to his sociological investigation for this and other comments is simply his belief that multiculturalism doesn’t work – which in other research laden tasks would be a write-off).

Of the BNP there is serious cause for concern (for decency) and there, after, matched – for childish balance –  with a joke. Firstly, he explains that he feels more comfortable with Millwall fans than other columnists: “It’s funny, y’know, quite a few of my friends would be inclined to vote BNP, and I don’t think they’re racist” and then towards the end

“I’m interested in the BNP tendency within Britain’s conservationists – ‘It’s a foreign animal, kill it!’ We exterminated the coypu in East Anglia, a very ugly rodent which was introduced from South America for its fur, escaped and set up base in East Anglia where it caused damage to riverbanks. So they shot ’em all. The RSPB said recently shall we shoot all those parakeets because they’re not British. ‘They come over here with their green wings…'”

With the tools of a deluded missionary, he wants to tackle taboos like his heroes of comedy Ricky Gervais and Chris Morris (there are small problems with a writer who seriously dabbles in what can be safely regarded as race related stereotypes and, at worst, racism, while simultaneously viewing himself being in the footsteps of comedians satirising polite society) but though he insists he is a “fundamentalist liberal”, there is a fundamental blur between his politics and that of the worst, flimsiest, offending for offending’s sake, Sun reader turned to the pen.

The comedian Jimmy Carr, who threatened continued legal action against fellow comedian (sic) Jim Davidson for stealing a joke of his, noted that when Davidson tells a taboo-breaking joke, he has to look behind his back – the point being that he might actually believe the “ironic” joke to be true. I should imagine the same of Liddle in this context, and where his comedic influences do satire, one can never be quite sure of him exactly.

The Independent interview noted above was very revealing of what I consider to be Liddle’s naughty schoolboy approach to offence, albeit where one can not tell the difference between the satire and the truth of his statements, but little has been said of Liddle recently of his being favourite for the editorial job in the Independent itself. There was an article about that blog entry, and also of Alexander Lebedev’s Indy sale talks, but nothing of late to contribute to the ongoing controversy that surrounds him (proven, no less, by a Dianne Abbot-led early day motion on the matter).

With the knowledge inside that camp, it makes one wonder what is there to hide, doesn’t it?

Further Sources:

Left Foot Forward takes a look at the anti-Semitic streak which runs through the comments supposedly made by Liddle on the infamous Millwall football forum

On the Fringe notes the use of social media in this campaign

Jon Slattery asks why fuss has only been made about Liddle, and not about the former KGB man who is potentially going to be the owner of the Indy

Dan Sabbagh identifies possible strategic reasons as to why the Indy might be exploring tory turf, and pondering on what this could do for its left-of-centre audience and popular staff writers such as Johann Hari.

France and the Burqa

While Sarkozy in France has realised that the burqa ban will be harder to enforce than originally believed – and so, therefore, will be shelved – another group of angry right wing men (and women), this time in Britain, have decided the issue is for them, namely UKIP, and for not too dissimilar reasons to those that originally informed UMP’s plans.

The fact that Sarkozy has “climbed down” has sparked the debate of enforcement and his strength as incumbent once again, but enforcement is only one element of the argument at play here, with regards to the burka. Rumbold, in a piece for pickled politics, has rightly said that

Enforcing such a ban would be hard. Would we have police ripping off women’s clothes if their faces were covered? Pregnant women and young mothers put behind bars for repeatedly defying the ban? Would anyone who covered their face up be breaking the law?

As we can see, for Rumbold it is not as simple as detailing who exactly is eligible to be vilified were this new law ever to be passed – if it were so then extended rigidity of the law would be the answer – but rather questions on how the police would operate, what would be their limits, and what would be the women’s human rights, are raised.

Those who are not instrumental in policy have a far easier ride in many ways; they can question whether the banning of the burqa is legitimate with little concern for their practical application, and our ideas – so far as we are strong headed about them – need not come into compromise with others’. On this basis I shall explain why I despise burqa’s, but am against the banning of them. In doing this I will largely ignore whether my ideas are enforceable, because for me whether something is right or wrong transcends the problems it might be met with in trying to apply them. Freedom should not be compromised by people with ideas to the contrary.

France has been trying to ban the burqa for many years now, using its obedience to the ideas of the republic, liberty and equality, as justification. But a full ban would have been met with many setbacks. It was originally believed that in the scheme of things France was immune from Islamic-led criticism, especially in the early stages of the Iraq war, which French forces declined to take part in. The imagined respect that the French felt they had saw many American and British journalists “pretending they [were] French when they [stepped] into hot spots,” according to Georges Malbrunot, a French journalist working for Le Figaro. Days later, that particular journalist was kidnapped by a group of Wahabbi fundamentalists, calling for the ban on headscarfs in public schools to be repealed, to which Chirac responded with a resounding non, shortly before a show of solidarity with French Muslims, showing how all religions could operate freely inside the republic, albeit privately. This was a huge step for those who supported the ban, but Sarkozy’s great leap has been more punctuated, turning from a full ban to a ban in public places, to temporary shelving, with grievances from the European Court of Human Rights to boot.

Nevertheless the burqa remains a tool for submission. But how this submission is identified remains a wider problem. Last year France denied a Moroccan woman citizenship for her incompatibility to French values, particularly equality of the sexes. Further details saw that the woman, known as Faiza M., had lived in France since 2000 with her husband and three children all of whom were born in France, though social services reported that she lived in “total submission” to her husband. Reports of her incompatible radical politics were subsequently quashed. So what made her incompatible? At first it would seem too extraordinary that the reason she was incompatible to French values was because she was the human embodiment of inequality. But wouldn’t this show cowardice on the part of the French government for not vilifying the oppressor? Of course it would, and it is this precise reason that the French government has chosen to pick on the oppressed and not the oppressor, cowardice. French philosopher Alain Badiou said of burqa banning in 2004:

Grandiose causes need new-style arguments. For example: hijab must be banned; it is a sign of male power (the father or eldest brother) over young girls or women. So, we’ll banish the women who obstinately wear it. Basically put: these girls or women are oppressed. Hence, they shall be punished. It’s a little like saying: “This woman has been raped: throw her in jail.”

Most would recognise that the burqa is a symbol of oppression, and therefore, morally, there is no reason on this world to extend respect for it, but if this is so, then why are coward governments attacking the symbol, and not the oppression itself. It is this dilemma that should be put to the French parliament, now that the plans for a public ban have been put back.

A poetic look at tragedy, or the global economic landscape in brief

What happens when one watches a television programme on the political economy, and then on Aristotle, one after the other?

Hamartia, defined as the “Greek word for error or failure, used by Aristotle in his Poetics (4th century BCE) to designate the false step that leads the protagonist in a tragedy to his or her downfall.”

But how does one (tragic one) avoid the downfall? Making sure ones protagonism is obscured.

The banking system has caused a nose dive in to recession over the last 18 months, as it did in the 80s, as it did in the 30s, and like it will again. Why has the system it relies on stayed afloat, in spite of crippling consequences? No downfall, in spite of tragedy?

Because the protagonist is an illusion, an obfuscation behind a wall, in a street in every big city, where numbers are displayed, and people with phones react. An illusory system kept afloat, albeit tragically, without downfall.

How tragic it is, that circulation of credit in the financial system relies on consumer confidence, and that that is somehow a more desriable system than tourism in a global economy that will see less and less focus on industrial product. Safeguard both tourism and consumer confidence, and then ones country can prolong recession for longer, but when we’re hit, we’re really hit, no one can see it coming (not even the Queen), no one can stop it, and yet no one wishes to do so anyway.

Does tragedy continue to occur? No, it occurs first as tragedy, then as farce.

Rights for Whites (and everyone else too)

Kjartan Páll Sveinsson, a research and policy analyst at the Runnymede Trust, a year ago had (I assume, judging by this liberal conspiracy item) some input over the who cares about the white working class report. “Class is back – but in a racialised form; no longer just working class, but with an added distinction ‘white working class’.” The distinction is almost in apprehension of tension between groups, for if the white working class are disadvantaged (or feel so) then who – by way of balance – is advantaged? Is it the black and other ethnic minority groups who fall under the bracket of working class. It is hard to see what is at play here. But I’ll give it a shot.

The white working class being failed, even at educational attainment – based on racial categories and those who are receiving free school meals – has been shown to be part of the new labour package, since the telegraph also found that “48 per cent of the poorest white boys met targets in English and maths at primary school last year, compared with 82 per cent of Chinese pupils.”

But how this is channelled from then is the dodgy territory. The blame is sought from foreigners themselves.

Not only did “58% said they felt unrepresented compared with 46% of white middle class respondents to a Newsnight poll”,

52% of the white working class people questioned thought immigration was a bad thing (42% thought it was a good thing), while just 33% of white middle class people thought it bad (62% thought it a good thing). (see the BBC article)

Certain leftists run a huge risk when they say that to separate working class people by race institutionally is wrong, only because previously this has been how we have been able to acknowledge and target low achievements in minority groups. One such writer scorns the distinction as reactionary. Perhaps in some cases, by some people. Though it is necessary to distinguish these groups in order to target failing, where I’m sure this writer would agree there was before with the children of minority groups. It also provides us with a marker to show whether racism is institutional – this I am guessing is what informed John Denham’s recent decision to say that inequality is not reduced only to race (this has not been understood by some writers (see note below), who though are right to say that race related bullying might still exist – and I worry will never disappear entirely – government is not in the business discriminating against race, and a lot has been done to tackle racism institutionally).

Often people who make assumptions as to why one group of people are failing make 5 out of 2 and 2. I’m not prepared to do so here. There are many factors, and time will only tell whether this is a relatively small trend (that will throw up a series of pointers as to what it is) or a longer lasting hiccup in the educational system. One thing that can not help – which is more a socio-economic concern – is the laughter directed to certain members of the white working class. Johann Hari recently said

Base generalisations about the white working class are so frequent that we just don’t hear them any more. Words like “chav” and “pikey” have become mainstream, and Vicky Pollard is waved as a dystopian poster-girl for twenty-first century Britain.

George Galloway once commented about the Jade/Shilpa situation that though it was crass of Goody, the real point of blame was Shilpa’s snobbish attitude towards Jade. This is not to play down the petty language that Goody used, but what was less an issue for the media at the time was the part class had to play in the conflict, and to some extent this is symptomatic of the way class is played now – that there are certain members at the bottom who it is fine to poke fun at.

There was a series of complaints at the word ‘chav’ – one here and here, to name but two – centred around the fact that it is a barely veiled attempt to acceptably look down upon the some people in our society, namely the white working class – though actually those people to whom the word is directed are not racially specific.

It is said by some that negative attitudes towards gypsies is the last socially acceptable form of racism. Scorn and vilification of the white working class doesn’t contradict this, since by and large it is an attitude towards class. The attachment of the word ‘white’ used formally – like in government statistics – is a way of seeing whether there is a clear relationship in low attainment and race. By the media it is shorthand for those more likely to get pregnant earlier, those more likely to commit crime, or those unlikely to achieve as well, and realistically it wasn’t going to be long until this self-fulfilling prophecy came to fruition in details of educational attainment and so on. But this is not a race war, it is one of class attitudes.



Yasmin Alibhai Brown had written the evening standard article (that I’ve linked to above) yesterday, which, I felt, misunderstood John Denham’s message, and failed to look at the historical testimony that racism – both institutional and street level – has been massively reduced, even since the late nineties, therefore it is legitimate that the Labour party should accept a small victory – in spite of the successes of the BNP, which let us remember, the BNP have had to modify their language a great deal in order to achieve, therefore their appeal is based as much on their scaremongering and not only on people’s “avowed racist attitudes”. Remember, for example, Jon Cruddas’ remark that Barking isn’t awash with fascist saluting Nazi’s, there are wider issues here.

But her ignorance here is not isolated. One other example sticks out, and it is worth repeating here at length:

We want to shut our doors because of prejudice and envy. Young Poles and Lithuanians can find work and make something of their lives, while our own people are either too lazy or expensive to compete. Tax-paying immigrants past and present keep indolent British scroungers on their couches drinking beer and watching TV. We are despised because we seize opportunities these slobs don’t want.

Two fit white British men loiter outside my local bank. They beg. I asked if they wanted to clear out my back garden for a fair wage. They said I was one crazy lady. Polish Andrew did the job cheerfully and efficiently. God bless bloody foreigners who do our dirty work and are then damned by an ungrateful, obtuse nation. (see the rest of the article, if you really want to, here)