My initial response to Luisa Cripp'sE-mail.
Luisa, on a separate subject but based on your fear of being thought racist, I have just been banned from the Sol Classic Car Club where I have been a member for about five months, for holding a private conversation with three others on Tuesday 1 May at monthly social meeting in the restaurant where the club meets near Fuengirola. One was an invited (by me) guest from another club who was there to give a talk on registering historic cars in Spain as part of my talk that I had been invited to give. After the official meeting and the meal had ended, I chatted with these three others at the dinner table, as adults do, of my experiences in Africa and my thoughts which are borne out by what has happened. In the ensuing conversation, I referred to Zimbabwe, and especially South Africa where the serious and violent crime now is the worst in the World, and I am able to discuss such matters with authority as my wife and I lived there for 25 years. I still have family there (my children) and I worry for their safety. In fact we took out South African citizenship and stayed on for five years after the new government came into power: not the actions of a racist, such was our love for Africa before the storm. We escaped in 1999. See history.
"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down."
Frederick Douglass, leading advocate of the anti-slavery movement in the USA in the early 19th Century.
I had friends there who were Black, Indian, Jewish, Hindu, etc, and for a few months before we escaped, I was Regional Manager for our area for the Democratic Party, the Opposition Party that was very anti-Apartheid in the SA Parliament (Helen Suzman, who is now bemoaning the new South Africa as well) including through all the years of the Apartheid government. The discussion was definitely non-racist but obviously contained facts about my experiences and my opinions to stop the continuing rot there for which we in Europe will have to pay in the years to come.
Someone at the other end of the table who either should not have been listeningOR could have asked to join the conversation to give their views, objected to our conversation saying that they (his wife and he) were "offended" (they are white) and when I asked why, he described himself as, if I remember correctly (for I could not foresee what happened later so I took no notes) he said he was a professor at a British university whose subject is, if I remember correctly, social sciences. I asked him if he had ever lived or been to Africa, and he said "No". He did not indicate that he wished to join the conversation, and he would have been welcomed. All he wanted to do was merely to stop the conversation. As it was a private conversation, I then lowered my voice (as much as one can in a room with 50 or so others talking), and I finished my points in a few minutes and went on to another subject.
Two days later I received an E-mail from the president of the club thanking me for giving the talk on my subject that night, then tersely telling me that I am banned from going again and my year's subscription will be returned. Some "un-named members" had complained about my racist remarks, but no names supplied, as is the usual way with such un-principled people. I asked for a hearing to discuss the matter, but was told that "that was that", I had made racist comments, and in another E-mail that the president sent out to the other committee members that was copied to me by mistake, I was referred to by the president, Ian Giles, as a "ranter" and a "bully" as well as a "racist". I suggest that the bully here is not myself because natural justice here has been completely over-ridden. But it appears to be common now where the PC Brigade override any debates on particular events but try to just stop them by shouting "racist" to scare people into being quiet.
It could be said that they are in good company as Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and the government of South Africa use the same tactics to kill criticism of the poor government performances and corruption in those countries. He has called Tony Blair a racist.
Surely after ascertaining that I was not drunk and disorderly, or using bad language (although this appears to be fully acceptable in modern Britain judging by the TV and some tourists) the matter should have been settled between the "complainer/s" and myself in an amicable way, if possible. It is not a club matter to interfere in a private conversation that is not illegal. In this case there are no written club rules that state what subjects can be discussed and I suggest that in an intelligent society, they would be laughed at by most if there were. Others on the club committee also did not think in a "just way" and they appear, in my opinion, to have taken the easy path (the coward's way?) advocated by the president of the club, who, with the committee, is supposed to represent all the members, not just one or two.
And to think that I had just volunteered for the job of secretary as no one else wanted the job after a few months of the current one asking for volunteers.
I am obviously not leaving it at that but will protect the club and the other members who would probably object to the arbitrary way the "banning" was carried out without their knowledge. I have contacted one of those involved in our private conversation, Mauricio Yeo, President of the Clasicos Balcon de Europa, and he was shocked. He is the president of another classic car club here, but was born here, so has none of the apparent "hang-ups" that are described in this article copied from the UK Daily Mail. But he was born here though and has not been subjected to the PC claptrap as have us British. During a phone call to him, he agreed that in no way did I say anything that could be described as racist or insulting. The other two in the conversation, a husband and wife have now returned to Ireland (I was told by them that they were going that week), but they bought a copy of my book and carried on chatting amiably for another 15-20 minutes or more, so I am sure they were not offended.
Hence my point about you fearing being called racist. Sadly, Luisa, you appear to have become one of the many who are fearful of being labelled as such by these "bullies", even though you are not breaking the UK laws which do not apply here anyway, or broadcasting "hate". You apologised for thinking probably correctly of the origins of the robbers. Why apologise? You are helping others not to become victims. You could be described as suffering from the "PC madness" as many Brits appear to do because they have been brainwashed by the "PC brigade".
It is George Orwell's 1984 here already. I believe that many of the "fanatical" membersof the PCB in Britain are well-meaning but are taking the wrong road to control and solve the problems and the facts bear this opinion out. Many are protecting the career paths they have made for themselves, often financed with tax-payer's money. Other citizens push it under the carpet hoping it will go away but complain in private. Many British citizens are voting for the BNP now feeling helpless against the bullying PCB and the seeming don't care attitude of most others.
Many others lack the moral fibre to object when the PCB go too far.
"He who dares not offend cannot be honest."
Thomas Paine. USA (born in Britain) advocate of “natural justice” and freedom of speech.
Anyway, I have written my piece but it is a good subject for public discussion or newspaper articles with public feedback. See the RUTH DUDLEY EDWARDS column in the Daily Mail reproduced at at - click: islam mail may07 This lady is obviously not "bullied" by the PC establishment.
Brian Deller, May 7th 2007
SUMMARY OF THE UK RELIGIOUS AND RACE HATE LAW
The new Racial and Religious Hatred Act has made it an offence to stir up hatred on religious grounds and amends the law on encouraging racial hatred.
It applies to the display, publication, broadcast or distribution of words or behaviour that is likely to stir up religious or racial hatred.
Under previous hate law, Christians and Muslims did not get protection because they were not considered to constitute a single ethnic block.
Prosecutors must still prove a criminal intent behind the words, rather than simply "recklessness" as the government had originally proposed before the bill was debated.
But as the UK High Court decided in the recent failed prosecution case against Nick Griffin and Mark Collet of the British National Party, it should not be allowed to stifle honest debate based on facts where they need to be published to warn the potentially ignorant (this really means people who have not bothered to check the facts) of what is happening. It also gives a chance to the tolerant members in society of all races and religions to do something positive about the radicals by opposing them at every opportunity. And that is where the problem lies. Most do not bother because they are wrongly frightened into believing that they are breaking this law, so they talk amongst themselves only. And so the problems persist...
The BNP, which is a legally constituted political party (and I am not a member) exists because of people being afraid to speak their minds in public and they are worried about the path that the current main parties are taking. Leadership is needed to make the politicians do what a sizeable proportion of the British public want for many can see the problems in the future that the politicians are ignoring. Many people believe that some newly arrived extremist members of UK society need to be deported back to countries where their brand of hate is accepted. And this should be encouraged by members of the same faith who are rightly very concerned about the backlash these radicals are causing against their religion. And most important, the situation must be discussed in public, not forced into back rooms where seriously violent actions could be planned by increasingly desperate people. That is what open democracy and freedom of expression is all about.
And many of the "PC Brigade" are part of the problem by refusing to accept these debates for fear of offending others or to ensure that their views are mostly illegally held (obeyed?) above all others.
"Your Comment" Column printed in the Costa Del Sol News, 24 May 2007