Tag Archives: Great Britain

Britain’s Jewish Population Rises In Turnabout

At the end of World war II in 1945, the Jewish population of Great Britan numbered about 450,000 people but today it has declined to about 280,000. The decline is most probably attributed to several factors such as a lower birth rate among those with higher incomes, the departure of some British Jews to the new state of Israel, and the high degree of intermarriage with Christians. However, the past year witnessed an interesting turnabout due to the large number of children in Orthodox Jewish families and the total rose from 275,000 to 280,000.

The high birth rate among Orthodox Jewish families is pushing figures higher and it also means a much larger number of Jews in Britain are Orthodox. For example, in Manchester, half of all Jewish children under the age of five are from Orthodox families,and in Greater London they now account for 18% of the Jewish population.

There appears to be in many religions a growth in the number of people who are of an Orthodox leaning so it is not surprising this also manifests itself in the Jewish religion.

Speaking English New Requirement To Kick Soccer Ball

The idiocy of Great Britain’s new point system which determines if an immigrant can enter the nation was illustrated by introduction of an English-speaking test for immigrants. Under the new regulations, South African, African and other non-European footballers will be barred from joining Premier League clubs. The new Engllish-speaking test, covering everyday phrases and simple conversation forms a part of a package of tougher rules for skilled immigrants from outside Europe who seek work in Britain. Immgration Minister Liam Byrne argued: “Our new point system means that British jobseekers get the first crack of the whip and that only skilled immigrants we actually need will be able to come.” Byrne insists that footballers and other sport people should not be exempt from the regulations. “It is a basic requirement that they have some command of English.”

Perhaps, Mr. Byrne might take a trip to the United States where numerous major league baseball players from Latin American are swinging bats, throwing balls and lack much command of the English language. As far as I know, throwing a 90 mile-an-hour baseball to a hitter does not require knowing how to speak English. It is in the wrist, not the mouth.

Racial Issues In Britain Spark Housing Shifts

the racial m ap of Great Britain is being redrawn as European immigrants head for the country while richer black and Asians head for white suburbs and young whites increasingly mix with children of various cultures. There is no clear but “white flight” but indications are many people are shifting their place of residence in order to have their children grow up with those of varying cultures. A recent study conducted by the Barrow Cadbury Trust revealed the lack of a single pattern on the part of whites in Great Britain. Acording to Sukhvinder Stubbs, chief executive of the organization: “What we are aware of in Birmingham is that there is middle-class flight, that in fact the better educated and those with better incomes–whether they come from white backgrounds or of the various ethnic-minority backgrounds -are moving out of the inner cties.”

The good news is a lack of desire among whites to have their children raised in a segregated world in which everyone is of one color. There apparently is a new coalition of people based on income and education which desires to live together and avoid the older desire for white flight. The study discovered people believe white flight is an issue but they do not see such patterns in their own communities. Perhaps, the issue of white flight is now behind the people of Great Britain.

The study may well be revealing a new sense among people that live in the 21st century is multiculturally based and it is best for society and their children to live in a mutli-ethnic and colored society.

Immigrant Crime Wave– A Modern Myth

Among the prevalent ideas propogated by those opposing immigration is the presence of these “foreigners” invariably leads to higher crime. In a wide-ranging police study just released in Great Britain the myth is placed to rest in the halls of mythology. The report which will be presented to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith concludes rates for immigrant crime are in line with those of the native born population. “Any rise has been broadly proportinate to the number of people from those communities coming into this country. People are saying crime is rising because of this influx. Given 1 mllion people have come in, that doesn’t make sense as crime is significantly down.” Last year crime dropped about 9% in England and Wales.

The common-sense conclusions of the report indicate there are always some cultural differences when new groups enter a nation. For example, the report indicates Polish people have a slightly higher incidence of drunk driving due to heavy consumption of alcohol and and some Romanian children being used as part of robbery attempts. But, as the report notes: “Given the number coming into the country, the problems have been very few in terms of criminality, increases in crime or community tensions.”

Hopefully, the report puts to rest the ongoing cries about the “rise in crime” which have actually never happened.

British Appeal Court Blocks Deportation Of Terrorist

A British Appeal Court halted the deportation of Abu Qatada who is accused of beng the “spiritual ambassador to Europe” of al-Qaeda. Although, Jordan promised the British government it would not torture the man, the Court refused to accept that guarantee. Judges also blocked the deportation of two Libyan men due to fear of torture and denial of fair trials. Human Rights Watch claimed the decision was a blow aimed at the government’s plans to deport individuals to nations which ordnarily use torture in order to extract confessions. “These cases,” said Julia Hall, “show that the British government should stop trying to deport people to countries whose justice systems are deeply tainted by torture and other abuses.”

Hopefully, the fight to end terrorism in the world can proceed without nations feeling compelled to use the tactics of terrorists. Demcracy must stand apart from the evils of men by behaving in such a manner as to demonstrate the importance of fair trials as the best weapon to combat those who oppose the democratic process.

No Pubic Iraq Inquiry Says House Of Lords To Mums

The British House of Lords turned down a request from mothers of soldiers fighting in Iraq for an inquiry into why their children were sent into battle. The women argued there was failure on the part of the Blair government to ensure in advance the war was lawful and justified. “That duty,” said their lawyer, Rabinder Singh, “is owed to soldiers who are under the unique compulsory control of the State and have to obey orders. They have to put their lives in harm’s way if necessary because their country demands it.” The mothers challenged a Court of Appeal rulining December, 2006 that the Government was not under an implied obligation to order an independent inquiry undeer Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Their lawyers argue it was not sufficient for the government to promise holding such an inquiry “when the time is right.”

Although the mothrs lost their bid, it made clear to the British people that Government has an obligatin to be truthful when it sends soldiers off to fight about the reasons for fighting. To this day, the Bush adminstraton has never been honest regarding internal discusions about decideing invade Iraq. There will be an inquiry one day, that’s for sure.

British Courts Defend Rights Of Immigrants!

The British Home Office has been attempting to impose tougher requirements on immigrants who entered the nation under provisions of the Higher Skills Migrant Programme, but their efforts were ended by a court decision which insisted migrants had met the criteria that was originally established for their presence and had a right to reman in a permanent status. The new regulations of the Home Office were declared to be illegal since the overwhelming majority of migrants had successfully met all requirements for permanent residency. The court argued the Home Office was focusing on problems they were encountering with a few residents and then subjecting all migrants to the necessity of reapplying even though they originally had met the requirements.

The court was clear as to the problem, saying there was “no good reason why those already in the scheme shall not enjoy the benefits of it as orgininally offered to them.” It appears in modern times, governments insist on regarding large numbers of people as problems because of the actions of a few. For example, a single man tried doing something with his shoe and now milliions have to take off their shoes when boarding a plane. Most skilled migrants to Great Britain benefit the nation, be happy about it.

British Faith Based Schools Ignore Needs Of Poor Kids

Unlike the United States, education in Great Britain allows schools based on a particular religious faith to be pubclicly funded with the proviso they will accept children of other faiths and be cognizant of the needs of poor children. A recent survey by the Department for Children, Schools, and Families(DCSF) reveals 87 faith based schools are breaking their obligations to children and parents. Six were found to solicit “voluntary funds” from parents before admitting their children which violates the law. Thirteen schools did not admit any special needs children and 58 schools refused to give them priority in admissions. It was also revealed faith based schools admitted fewer children who receive free meals.

In the future, Philip Hunter, school ombundsman for children and parents will be given special power to check into violation of procedures regarding admissions and to make certain schools do not solicit funds from parents while discussing questions of admissions. Solicitation from parents obviously benefits students from wealthier backgrounds.

Conservatives members of parliament claim the report is an attempt to discredit the concept of parental choice while David Laws of the Liberal democrats commened: “It is uncceptable for any school to be breaking the admissions code.”

We believe in choice that respects the interests of poor as well as middle and upper class children.

Homophobia Alive In Liberal Great Britain!

The 3.6 million lesbians, gays, and bisexual people in Great Britain continue encountering severe issues of bigotry and prejudice in their daily lives according to a recent study of this issue. A poll, commissioned by the equality charity, Stonewall, suggest government bodies tend to ignore the dimensions of problems encountered by gays and lesbians, particularly in schools. The YouGov poll of 1,658 gay adults found homophobic bullying in schools is more prevalent now than in previous decades. Around 30% of gays and lesbian people expect to encounter discrimination if they were to try enrolling a child at primary or secondary school and 80% believe they would encounter difficulty if they were to apply to become a school governor.

The poll reveals more confident feelings towad polce and courts but many believe they would be treated less well in a hospital. However, one in four think they would be treated less fairly by police if they became a victim of a hate crime. Nearly nine in ten claim the Conservative Party would reject their bids to seek office while 61% has this view about the Labour Party and 47% of the Liberal.

The poll uncovred stories of prejudice in the lives of children. A 14 year-old girl told a teacher in confidence of her lesbian feelings and subsequently was required to sit outside thechanging room at the beginning and end of sports lessons while the “normal children” changed. Almost two-thirds of lesbian and gay people under the age of 19 reported being bullied in school. The poll suggest schools are not doing enough to deal with prejudice against gays and lesbians.

There undoubtedly is much to be done in confronting issues faced by gays and lesbians in Great Britain. A first step is introducing more pro-active programs in schools.

The Shame Of Our School Classrooms

Great Britain’s National Teacher’s Union(NUT) warned of a “national scandal” regarding the presence of oversized classes and demanded action by the British government. A recent study indicates Great Britain ranks 23rd out of 30 Western countries in class size. A survey by the Orgnization for Economic Development revealed the average class size for children in independent schools was 10.7 compared to just over 26 in state schools. At the annual conference of the NUT teachers told of class sizes reaching 52 and 5 5 which were being taught by a teacher with assistants. NUT is prepared to recommend action such as a national strike of teachers in order to force action by the government to confront this issue.

The issue of class size is tricky since no one really knows what is the most effective in order to achieve excellent results. This issue is related to others such as the purpose of education. Today, the emphasis on testing results in teachers altering the curriculum to emphasize test scores. When all is said and done, reducing class sizes and finding excellent teachers most probably wll result in stimulating creative and critical thinking which should always be the main goals of education.