Anon #3: You have been nit picking about one persons definition of British.
Paddy: I think I can simplify this for late comers/the bored/etc.
Say that I’m atheist. Say I’m debating a Protestant.
1. The Protestant wants to convince me God is omniscient, awe-inspiring and generous. I respond that believe the whole idea of “God” is wrong/misplaced.
2. The Protestant asks me to define Catholicism suggesting I’m more susceptible to their claims. I respond, no, I simply don’t believe in God. The Catholic claims that God is mighty, empowering and forgiving do not sway me either.
3. Well, he replies, if you don’t think God is omniscient, awe-inspiring and all-powerful do you at least think in general he’s these things.
Conclusion: Protestant argues as if God is real and I’m not ready to accept that.
In this case:
1. This was Anon #1’s “British entry requirements”.
2. This was when Ronnie asked me to define Nigerian-ness. I argued that was a unpersuasive detour: “Nigerian-ness” is just as shaky/unpersuasive of a concept as “British”.
3. This was when Ronnie asked me to accept that tea-drinking was more popular in Britain than Australia.
Conclusion: Ronnie outlines very specific requirements for British-ness. While I still don’t accept it is a coherent, unified “thing” whatever the specifics. Science, for example, can’t talk about British-ness. My point is we can all have subjective feelings about something which doesn’t exist in the material world. Concepts can be shaky like that.
Just so it’s clear: I think all ideas about nationalism are flawed and that goes for any any Nigerian nationalists out there too.
Anon #2: Is Alex Salmond a racist white supremacist? What about Martin McGuinness? Would you call him a bigot? Was Gandhi a bigot? What about Sitting Bull – patriot or racist xenophobic bigot? When Muhammad Ali proclaimed he wanted his grandchildren to look like him was he a racist bigot? What really bugs me about “anti-racism” is how racist it is.
Paddy: You constructed a straw-man. There’s no point in me defending arguments I’ve never made. Although, I do appreciate that you felt the need to pull out a generic copy/pasted response to confront me.
Anon #1: “That was a lazy trap and a pointless detour. You can surely do better. For a start, you respond to my questions. I’ve had the courtesy to reply to yours, however (momentarily) distracting.”
No you haven’t. You’re a very evil kind of liar, and here’s why. You know that to define Nigerian-ness would be to open yourself up to the same scrutiny to which you give Britishness.
While it is true that not every British person is an identikit fit, there are indeed many commonalities between British people that make up British culture – I’ve given you quite a few, but you are saying that since you AS AN INDIVIDUAL don’t engage in those acts, that it is NOT BRITISH. Not only is this kind of anecdotal evidence worthless, but it is also very dangerous. Obviously anyone intelligent enough can see through your facade, but my worry is that a great deal of morons who are allowed to vote and are swayed by such nonsense, will vote on that basis.
Paddy: I’ve already preempted most of your silly remarks in my previous post. I suggest you read it. In short it went:
There is probably no comprehensive, singular Nigerian identity we can speak of, just as there is probably no British one. It would be arrogant and hypocritical to claim otherwise, particularly without evidence. This position was made pretty clear in my last post.
So where have you got this silly idea that I believe in Nigerian-ness from? Short answer: your imagination. There is where I will stop humoring you and this silly diversion and be temporarily abrupt: I haven’t fallen into your silly trap (which would go to demonstrate that I’m some sort of selective cultural-relativist? I’m not sure what angle you desired) so stop pretending that I have or will.
Anon #1: “Now, will you actually respond to my rebuttal to your ideas of Britishness?”
I answered your question with a question. Since you were unable to answer, it proves that asking what “Britishness” is was a simple trap, something you have now accused me of. This is psychological projection. If you have an IQ of >80 like you claim to have, you’d see this plainly.
“That’s the only way this conversion can really go anywhere considering it’s the subject of this conversation.”
A simple re-framing of your question exposed it as the ridiculous, simplification fallacy that it was. Liberalism can only win debates by establishing the original frame. Once that question is reflected, it usually goes unanswered or you see shaming language and multiple fallacies compounded onto each other.
Paddy: Do I really have to spell out what’s going on here? Do you really want me to be that condescending towards you? Ah, well then, here we go.
I promise to make it reeeally simple:
You claimed to know all about what it means to be “British”. I asked you what exactly this meant – an important question, the parameters of club membership need to be made clear – and got a list which went from: drinking something which originated in Asia to liking barbecues and driving a Mini via speaking with an English accent (this last one was probably the most stupid thing I’ve read in a long time). Anybody which couldn’t meet all those characteristics was, in your mind, non-British. I pointed out the absurdity of such a list, offering individual and brilliantly crafted rebuttals to each point.
…This is when you brought up “Nigerian-ness”.
Seeing as I now pointed out how silly and potentially irrelevant that was, I would like to return to conceptions of Britishness – something you claimed to know all about.
(Oh, and how you wound me by suggesting I am a Liberal. Oh woe.)
Anon #2: Why should labels be seen as weapons? Not everybody uses labels to stifle opposition.
Paddy: I’ll admit I am not sure what context he was using it in – it’s in amongst a paragraph which would bamboozle the most competent linguistics academia has to offer.
Though I’m willing to wager that ol’ Ronnie isn’t a fan of Liberals (they tend to be opposed to nationalist and race-based movements by definition, in both the Classical and the modern sense). Although, it’s comforting to see that my mention of Liberalism was the only thing you could pick me up on in your efforts to support Captain Britain over here. By ignoring the substance of my central argument you’re supporting me more than you know.
Anon #1: BBC = anti-British, leftist propaganda. History will show it in 100-200 years time, and we’ll ask why we did nothing about it at the time.
Paddy: How do you define “British”? Just interested.
Anon #1: If you’d ever lived in Britain you’d know what British meant.
Paddy: I have lived in Britain (and traveled it extensively) all my life, and having done so, realise how broad and subjective concepts like “British” are. No one seems to have it pinned down. Looking at your comments however, you seem to think that you have the answer. So please, stop being coy and enlighten me. I want to know.
Anon #1: Tea drinking, mini driving, English accented, white lineage (hurr wazyzm – no, it isn’t. Indians are “indian”, and you wouldn’t call them racist for saying it), accepting, restrained, queue loving, Barbecue cooking legends make up “Britishness”. There are many more examples, but since you had to ask you either don’t feel British or don’t want me to feel British or both.
Paddy: “There are many more examples, but since you had to ask you either don’t feel British or don’t want me to feel British or both.”
If you had read my comment before jumping to that paranoid and jingoistic conclusion you would see that isn’t the case.
“Tea drinking, mini driving, English accented, white lineage (hurr wazyzm – no, it isn’t. Indians are “indian”, and you wouldn’t call them racist for saying it), accepting, restrained, queue loving, Barbecue cooking legends make up “Britishness”.”
Let me go through this.
1. What if one does not like tea or own a Mini, are they instantly considered un-British? I must admit to disliking that cramped car, nor to I care much for tea (origin: east Asia).
2. “English accented” gave me a good chuckle. How about the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish (many Cornish would also take issue), none of which have English accents? Are they not British?
3. Up here in t’North, where I currently am, no one seems to have Barbecues. Are they not British? Or is it just those Guardian-reading southern folk with large gaaardens?
4. Since you brought race into it – albeit, by invoking the wishy-washy P.C. term “lineage” – how exactly do you judge something like that? Do you have to be from an undiluted Anglo-Saxon “lineage” (there’s no such thing) or from one of those Celtic or ancient Palaeolithic bloodlines in order to stake a racial claim to this great land? Taken to it’s logical conclusions, linking race with land becomes untenable.
(Let’s see how “accepting” and “restrained” you are in your response…)
Anon #1: Yup, you’re a leftist, white-hating bigoted troll. It didn’t take much effort to out you, did it? Fine, define Nigerian culture. What does it mean to be Nigerian.
Paddy: Neither restrained or accepting, then.
“Yup, you’re a leftist, white-hating bigoted troll. It didn’t take much effort to out you, did it? Fine, define Nigerian culture. What does it mean to be Nigerian.”
Did you even read my wonderfully eloquent comment? How did you even jump to that conclusion? And why are you so hostile to talk of “culture” so suddenly, isn’t “Britishness” a culture? C’mon, show us that you can provide us more than simple raving jingoistic nonsense.
I’m trying to have a polite, productive discussion here. (You really should read my previous comment, it’s rather good.)
Anon #1: No really, prove to me that you can’t define Nigerian-ness, and you’ll realise that asking someone to neatly define Britishness is obviously a ridiculous question designed to nitpick and refute Britishness based on logically fallacious but pretty lies. If you can’t define Nigerian-ness, then this entire concept is bogus. What are you scared of?
Paddy: I asked you to elaborate on a subject you claimed to know a lot about. Now you’re asking me to elaborate on something I know nothing about: I’ve never been to Nigeria, I am not a citizen of that country nor have I, more importantly, claimed that they have a static or coherent culture – a solidified idea of “Nigerian-ness”. It would be intellectually dishonest to say that I did or to now speculate about something which most Nigerians themselves would probably have difficulty defining. Just like you and me on “Britishness”.
That was a lazy trap and a pointless detour. You can do better, surely. For a start, you can respond to my questions. I’ve had the courtesy to reply to yours, however (momentarily) distracting.
So, NASA will soon reveal we aren’t the only planet sustaining life in the Milky Way. If that rock is also unfortunate enough to accommodate “intelligent” beings, we have to ask “who would we send forth to represent humanity?”. Our keenest politicians, our brightest linguists, our genius physicists, or our most knowledgeable anthropologists?
I nominate a mullah, a beekeeper and a Chinese postal worker.
A disconnected, teenage thought on the growing right-wing populism
There’s something to HG Well’s The Time Machine. It’s becoming more difficult, online and off, to explain away the incredible stupidity of about 50-60% of those I meet. The sort of morlocks people who know they’re being shafted by a government that enforces debilitating austerity, and by their own unscrupulous managers, but treat the Pakistanis and Poles and Polynesians as if they’re the enemy – and talk as if they would happily suffer declining living standards, lower wages and global irrelevance, if only it meant they would see less melanin-filled faces at the supermarket (James O’Brien’s excellent take-downs of Brexiteers). The same sort who, when questioned even slightly about their positions resort to incoherent cliche.
Here’s an easy one, you would think given recent events: why don’t you like the EU? (Responses from LBC.)
“They make 70% of ARE laws – didn’t you hear the thing about bananas?”, or “it’s all about taking ARE country back”, or “there’s a bloody asylum seeker living in Kensington!”
Nothingness punctuated by beastliness (or is it vice versa?).
No, this isn’t a matter of socio-economically enforced ignorance or whatever excuse the sociologists have made: these people just don’t know how to use that squishy pink thing in their heads. That makes them, practically, a different species.
And theory of mind can only apply to those with one.
This post is dedicated to those pearls of wisdom Brits can’t help splurting out when mistakenly given the vaguest encouragement. They will cover a multitude of subjects: politics, culture, and, of course, the weather.
I wouldn’t want the Queen’s job
Stephen Fry – a national treasure
This country’s gone to the dogs
The Tories fix the economy and Labour break it
Whatever else you say about ‘im, that Enoch Powell ‘ad a point
We’re just an island – there’s no more room!
I like snow, I just can’t stand the slushy stuff
Diana was the People’s Princess
‘R’ Diana was knocked off by Charles
While alive: she’ll open ‘er legs for just about anything
This wouldn’t ‘ave ‘appened under Thatcher
We’re a nation of animal lovers [Has no one actually seen a battery farm?]
We ‘ave TV so who needs books?
No one ‘as any respect from the old anymore
On buses and similar things: there’s nuffin and then fifteen come at once
I’m not racist but…
On rain: it’s about to piss it down
That London’s too big for me
A Englishman’s house is his castle
That restaurant/wine/degree of personal cleanliness is too posh for my liking
This is an abridged version of a typical conversation I’ve had with a bigot, who I’m going to refer to as B., on the subject of immigration, refugees, Islam, etc. He has a tendency to rant for up to 15 min., then ask me a question, only to interrupt me mid-sentence and go onto another rant. Basically saying the same thing over and over again.
B. – So, explain that leftist multi-culti (multicultural) nonsense to me.
His views in a nutshell. (Or should I say bombshell, HA!HA!)
Pole – I’m not having that conversation again.
B. – Common, I’m open for discussion. I wand to understand, because I don’t, how can you believe that.
Pole – You’re only saying this so you can go on a rant. You won’t let me get a word in. Also, stop calling me leftist.
B. – Why?
Pole – Because I know you mean it as an insult and you only do to it to annoy me.
B. – The way I see it, if people are coming here, they should respect the laws and follow the rules. Not try to install their own, (shariah) law.
Pole – But it’s not what they’re trying to do, is it. They come here to flee from war and poverty.
B. – Then why is it that it’s mostly young men? They should stay there and fight to protect their women and children. Wouldn’t you want to keep your mum safe instead of running like a coward?
Pole – It’s young men because, they’re the ones mostly under threat. They don’t want to be conscripted and then forced to bomb civilians at gunpoint. Also the journey is dangerous. Refugees are being robbed, blackmailed, even killed or kidnapped along the way. They want to make sure that it’ll be safe for their women and children to come here.
B. – It’s naive to believe that. Imagine there’s a river of people outside (this analogy keeps reappearing), fleeing from danger. You want to help them and invite them into your house. You feed them, clothe them, keep them safe. Until one day a bunch of them say this is our house now, your wife is ours now, get the fuck out.
Pole – But that’s not what’s happening.
B. – What do you mean that’s not what’s happening? I’m sorry, but when there are Muslims marching in the streets shouting “British government go to hell.”, something’s not right. How can you ask for refuge and than shout that.
Pole – If you were being treated unfairly by the government and the police, and some members of the general public were calling you a savage, you’d be out on the streets as well.
B. – People are being assaulted by Muslims for entering ‘their’ areas. Women harassed for wearing skirts.
Pole – Watching videos out of context on Facebook again. They’re not trying to install shariah law in Britain, and the rumors about ‘Muslim zones’ are just that, rumors. You can get harassed why white dudes if you go into some areas.
B. – This leftist bullshit is why they’re winning. I know what they’re like. They hate us, and they want the shariah law in here. I don’t want my grandchildren to be forced to chose between converting and a knife to the throat.
Pole – That’s not what they want!!! You’re talking about a minority of a minority. By the time your grandchildren are around, so will be theirs. The children of immigrants go to British schools, interact with British people. They adopt western culture to some point. They integrate. They educate themselves, and education is one of the best weapons we have against violence and aggression.
B. – How do you explain that they come to countries like Poland or Greece, where they are safe from war, and than say that they don’t want to stay. They want to go to Germany or the UK, because welfare is better there, and they’ll get more money.
Pole – Wouldn’t you? You, yourself emigrated from Poland, because there was no work. You came to the UK for better pay and job security. Also, the same rhetoric of immigrants coming here to take advantage of the welfare has been said about the Poles. It turned out to be bullshit back then too. I know you base your arguments on some posts or videos you’ve seen on Facebook. I’ve seen similar things, where refugees say they don’t want anything for free. They want to work.
B. – In Belgium most of Muslims, who live there are on benefits.
Pole – Bullshit. That doesn’t make sense. How can a majority of a certain population or ethnic group be on benefits. That would mean that, that many of them are either unemployed or disabled, or somehow else entitled to receive benefits. This is simply, statistically impossible. Especially for immigrants, who are either not entitled to the same benefits as citizens or find it harder to get them.
B. – Well, where’s your proof?
Pole – I don’t happen to carry statistical data of the Belgian welfare system with me. And I don’t consider Facebook as a reliable source. (A smug smile appears on B.’s face). Well, where’s your evidence, and again I don’t mean Facebook videos and posts.
*Note: Pay close attention to the response. I think this is the very essence of bigotry and ignorance*
B. – I don’t need evidence. I know these people. I deal with them every day. (he means, he has Muslim co-workers at the factory, where he works; rarely speaks to them)
I’m done talking about that to B. I’m more likely to punch through a brick wall with my bare fists than talk sense into him.
BTW. Isn’t it a bit funny how Reagan’s greatest achievement was breaking down a wall (figuratively), and yet Republicans’ current candidate can’t shut up about building one?