Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Congleton or Islamabad?

Ann Winterton, the MP for Congleton, is in trouble again. This seemingly foolish Tory MP has a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. She was sacked from her Shadow Cabinet position in 2002 for making a joke with the punchline that Pakistanis were 'ten a penny' in the United Kingdom. Last year, she had the party whip withdrawn for telling a joke about the Chinese cockle pickers who drowned at Morecambe Bay. Mrs Winterton has now written an article in which she stated that 'the United Kingdom is still, thankfully, a predominantly white, Christian country'.

Hmm. Given her past record, it is not surprising that Ann Winterton holds such views. What is surprising this time around is the absence of the outrage that normally greets such pronouncements from La Winterton. I believe that this is because, given the current climate (to borrow a phrase), Winterton's views are resonating with an increasing number of people. The only complaint I have so far seen has been from the Cheshire Racial Equality Council. Even the Conservative Party, nowadays anxious to dispel any whiff of racism, has not said much.

What do I think of Ann Winterton's comments? Difficult question to answer, but I do not want to duck the issue. Perhaps I would do a better job of answering it if I pretended that the comments were made by anyone other than Winterton.

I can see why she would feel 'thankful' that her country is 'predominantly white'; after all, no one likes change that much. What I resent is the implication that it would be a bad thing if it were not the case; the suggestion that a country is that much better for being 'white'. Anyway, her opinion. I don't have to agree with her.

Please don't shoot, but along with Winterton, I am thankful that this is a 'Christian' country. Perhaps I should say that I am thankful that this is not a muslim country. For all our quarrels with the Government about the erosion of human rights, we are at least in a better state than many muslim countries. Here, at least, there is more than a passing regard for democracy, freedom of speech, and the rights of women. Daily we hear about the situation in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, and as a woman, I know where I'd rather be.
You are viewing a post on Bel's old site. Click here to find this post on the new site.



Post a Comment

<< Home