Bahrain: The great news blackout

I had another chat with my local friendly pom who works in Bahrain for a large multi-national corporation the other day.

I asked what the latest situation was as we seemed to have very little information here in the UK.

“That’ll be the news blackout that the US and UK security services have negotiated then” he replied confidently with the air of someone who knows what he’s talking about. Continue reading “Bahrain: The great news blackout”

This amused me – I hope it amuses you

A week ago there was an article in The Punch, an Australian site which many of you had difficulty with when I gave a link to an earlier article about Michael Clarke.  This article was about the monarchy and the “forth-coming” wedding – the author was, shall we say, not in favour of either.   Many comments followed, most of which were unexceptional or irrelevant – that is, they were mainly off-thread, debating the merits or otherwise of certain UK national newspapers.

But then came this gem from a British gentleman (I swear I have not edited a single word) –  Continue reading “This amused me – I hope it amuses you”

I am not afraid to express my views

I shall say firstly that I love the Chariot and all that ride in here. I know I am a minority within the group concerning the monarchy, and I respect that most of you will object and disagree. However, it is my belief that the 3 founding members of this site stated we can say what we want here without personal reprisals, so here I go.

The royal family. An unnecessary requirement of a modern UK. Now, before you all switch over and curse me, please just read for a while, I may just make you re-look at your cemented ideas. A little. For a millisecond.

Due to the little gathering at Westminster Abbey later this week the topic of the royals is very much in the news. Fine by me as it allows some proper debate which blinkered royalists don’t enjoy. In earlier blogs when I have mentioned my republican leaning, I have been laughed at and dismissed as a heretic – mainly with the comments along the lines of: Continue reading “I am not afraid to express my views”

Post-Imperial Discourse and the Emergence of a new Racism

Recently I had a discussion with a professor in training regarding history and approaches to it. Though our fields are different, both are subject to a “post-imperial” discourse. (Latin America and East Asia, respectively, for those who do not know) Though he tends to favour the post-imperialist approach, he stated that it has its own number of defects — namely that it tends to pressure people not from that cultural background to avoid studying it on the ground that to understand a culture, one must come from a culture. We were in agreement that this was too extreme.

It would seem that this mentality brings up a new sort of racism — a revised racial exclusivity in which the “other” can be neither scrutinised nor fully studied. Rather than promoting cross-cultural understanding in any meaningful way, white-wash is applied to one and the other is subject to unquestionable rights to vilify. To clarify this, less developed regions such as Latin America, Africa, and South Asia are not to have their historical record or traditional defects questioned while developed regions such as North America, the UK, Europe, and Japan are subject to having their histories scrutinised and subject to unfair, unfounded commentaries and these are to be respected as “new approaches”.

This does not apply only to history. I recently had a rather severe falling out with a classmate over the nature of linguistics and their application. I knew that this man is in many respects a racist and does little to hide this fact, as he is of Chinese ancestry this is not to be challenged as he is allowed to be as racist as he wishes. The nature of our falling out was in how to classify languages. Cantonese, Mandarin, Hoklo, and Hakka, among others, are categorised as different languages within the family of Chinese languages, not dialects. This is a result of the fact that they evolved independently of each other. While language classification is at times arbitrary and imperfect, general guidelines are usually followed. He did not wish to accept this fact and said that these guidelines were set up by “ignorant whites who don’t have a clue” and said that he can back his thesis up by saying a single word in Cantonese and then in Mandarin. (The word was “you”) (Quite, German, Danish, Italian, and Portuguese forms of “you” are even closer)

In Praise Of Bearsy.

I really enjoy Bearsy’s comments and find it a great shame that at times they do not stay in place for very long and a lot of readers may miss them. He does indeed speak the truth. Were it not for him, this site would not exist. All of the technical stuff is down to him. We all take it for granted and are able to do what we do here because of him. Continue reading “In Praise Of Bearsy.”

Oh dear, oh dear…now the BBC’s in on the act

I have yet to watch the full hour program broadcast on BBC 3 last night, but if the clip here is anything to go by, the BBC is trying to make Islamic converts look weird, stupid, selfish and plain ignorant to their fellow county folk. Not the usual BBC effort as they tend to be very pro, or at least attempting to be balanced (I know they don’t always succeed, but at least they try). I shall report back when I’ve watched the whole documentary of brother on brother.

I know it’s a sensitive subject at the moment, and I’m not intending to stir anyone up here, but this clip in isolation does offer a very sad picture of why someone would change their entire life around an organised religion (of any variety) I have to say though, every Muslim I’ve ever met has shaken me by the right hand.

And just for the humour – Ginger people just shouldn’t grow beards!


An arab boy asks his father.

“What is that weird hat you are wearing?’

“It is a ‘Chechia’ because in the desert, it protects our head from the sun.”

“What is this type of clothing are we wearing?”

“It is a ‘Djabellah’ because in the desert, it is really hot.”

“What are these ugly shoes we have on our feet?”

“These are ‘Babouches’ which keep us from burning our feet when in the desert.”

“Tell me papa?”

“Yes my son.” Continue reading “Questions”

Is it Mothering Sunday?

It did not start well.
Scout woke late (my fault?)and had to get ready to get to school for an event (preparation for Duke of Edinburgh Award). I had forgotten to put the bread maker on last night and flew out of bed in a panic. There was a flurry of activity, entailing me cooking some of that old standby ‘the part-cooked French stick’ from the freezer and packing a ‘kit lunch’ (ham and cheese in a plastic container as the bread was too warm to assemble into a sandwich immediately) while  intermittently calling upstairs to check he was still getting ready. Overnight guest was dispatched home, a bag was thrown together, a few more cross words were exchanged and then the lift arrived. Continue reading “Is it Mothering Sunday?”