Warsi opens prejudice can of worms

This morning I started shaping my response to that antithesis of meritocracy, Baroness Warsi, who is now directing her hectoring tones to the issue of ‘Islamophobia’ and what she describes as prejudice against Muslims.

The focus of my post was on the definition of the words prejudice and phobia and how these two words are now routinely abused by those who seek to unjustly demonise people for what they think. But I have just seen that Longrider has already said it all with great clarity, and therefore I warmly commend his fine post to you.

There are people who are ignorant and hostile to a group of people purely because of their identity or race.  That stereotyping makes them bigots.  But for many people their dislike of certain individuals has been formed through experience and knowledge gained through interaction and close observation.  There is a big difference.

When such discerning people are criticised for possessing the informed viewpoint they do – which is what Warsi risks doing – that makes the critics the bigoted ones.  It is something Baroness Warsi would be well advised to be mindful of, before her comments form the central plank of a new attack on freedom of thought.

Update: Gawain also offers a valuable contribution to the debate.  Lord Tebbit explains why Warsi should not have plunged into this argument.  His Grace also turns his formidable intellect to the discussion. Dick Puddlecote says Warsi should not be surprised at concern about Muslims after the hysterical security measures against Islamist terror attacks.

10 Responses to “Warsi opens prejudice can of worms”


  1. 1 Longrider 20/01/2011 at 1:04 pm

    Ta for the link. It seems great minds think alike ;)

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 20/01/2011 at 1:07 pm

    I greatly appreciate your compliment Sir!

  3. 3 Calvin Ball 20/01/2011 at 1:28 pm

    I was wondering what this was about. It appeared odd that the Conservative Party website has nothing on it’s news pages about it. Nothing on Sayeeda Awarsi’s speeches section and nothing obvious on her own website.

    Yet this has had a very definite push from somewhere given that Leicester University have moved the annual lecture to another hall as they ”

    “are expecting a late rush of interest. We strongly recommend that you reserve your tickets by e-mail and collect them on the door.”

    All obvious reports return to the Telegraph as the source. Odd then that it has reached such prominence so quickly.

  4. 4 MrT 20/01/2011 at 1:29 pm

    Maybe she ought to take a look at this, occasionally…

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/

  5. 5 andy baxter 20/01/2011 at 2:25 pm

    That there is intolerance bigotry prejudice and hate in the wider world and close at home (whether founded on personal experience or propoganda) there is no doubt.

    But for me all the rafts of Statutes and Acts which attempt to force free thinking people to think act and speak without bigotry, intolerance and hate ONLY reinforces just such beliefs that it seeks to prevent.

    And leads thus to a wider censoring of free thought, expression and speech. Which for me is even more odious than the vilest expressions of hate or prejudice.

    For me people if they wish to be bigoted, prejudiced, and guided by hate, so be it….whether I choose to associate or interact with such is my choice, but I wholeheartedly believe people have a right to express their thoughts however offensive or odious they may be….for then you can make your own choice of association or not.

    “We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.”

    Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  6. 6 permanentexpat 20/01/2011 at 2:34 pm

    Pots & kettles come rapidly to mind.
    How did this stupid alien woman become an English baroness?,,,,just asking; I really don’t know.

  7. 7 Autonomous Mind 20/01/2011 at 2:52 pm

    Well, Warsi was born here so she is British of Asian descent.

    She stood in elections for the Conservative party but failed to win and even saw the Tory share of the vote fall, IIRC. Cameron wanted a more physically diverse appearance for the Conservative party and she ticked all the boxes – female, dark skinned, Muslim. Given that she couldn’t win public support she was put into the House of Lords so Cameron could have his inclusive looking Shadow Cabinet / Cabinet.

    Being a PR disaster she could not be trusted with a portfolio and so was made Chairman of the party. Then some of her responsibility was pared off and given to an old mate of Cameron’s. She is just another talking head who has never been elected by anyone but has been afforded a degree of power and influence, much like the people who Cameron wants to continue running this country from inside the apparatus of the EU.

  8. 8 Gawain Towler 20/01/2011 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for the link AM, looks like she is being sectioned if Forsyth is anything to go by.

  9. 9 Fay Tuncay 20/01/2011 at 10:02 pm

    Warsi –

    fish·wife  (fshwf)
    n. pl. fish·wives (-wvz)
    1. A woman who sells fish.
    2. A woman regarded as coarse and shrewishly abusive.

  10. 10 Rereke Whakaaro 21/01/2011 at 11:11 am

    The whole question of enforced equality is utterly self defeating.

    Politicians may try to legislate against bigotry, but legislating rules for how people should behave, does nothing to influence how those people think.

    The legislation merely removes any ability for people to express their feelings and opinions. But it certainly does not change what they think, and so forces the bigotry “underground” where it can grow and fester all by itself.

    The only outcome of such legislation is to make opinions more entrenched, and so make the situation worse.

    But of course, Politicians never think about the unintended consequences of their actions … assuming that they think at all.


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