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This isn`t a choice between free speech and politcal correctness its about a choice between the I can do or say anything I want society and a society that is tolerant and considerate of other peoples feelings.
The bottom line of all this is that racism is evil and cannot be tolerated anywhere at anytime.

"...matters anyone who has been near the armed forces knows to be true."

Sorry, what bit exactly was true?

Was it the bit that black soldiers play the race card when they're in trouble, or was it the bit that calling a man a black bastard is no worse than calling him a ginger bastard or a fat bastard? Please enlighten me.

Are you, Jack Stone, calling Mr Mercer a racist?

Who cares...Lets get back to common sense

We simply have too much Media capacity that they wallow in trivia and have no real news grasp. There are 27 EU countries but we never get any BBC News reports from them - rarely hear about Budapest or Warsaw or Bucharest.........instead we get the stories manufactured by Guardian/BBC Enterprises


This is how democracies end - absolutely riveted by inanities and oblivious to the major disasters unfolding as democracy is stolen by cliques

STUPID STUPID STUPID MAN.... Just come back from work and saw this headline on the front of someone's Standard on the tube! My heart sank.....

As Mr King suggests a bit of common sense - there is a good article on the subject on the First Post. Beyond Robert Fox's first page, which our many new posters might disagree with, he highlights the real failure of Dr Fox and others in our party with defence interests to shame this government on pay, housing conditions and more especially the scandal of NHS care for wounded soldiers.

In the US the Defense Secretary had to resign, here we just leave our soldiers to suffer deficiencies. Here DC might raise a question in PMQs but no more. There is a real need to campaign for better conditions and rewards. Another soldier was killed today in Afghanistan.

Many of us believe that our Armed Forces should be fighting there, despite the cost in lives. It is a war rarely reported, except when some British soldier dies, as the media are not imbedded returning images of firefights and battles daily. The very least we can do is pay them more than the minimum wage, ensure they are properly equipped, their families housed in reasonable conditions and that they receive the best care when they return wounded in our service.

Actually Jarod I should say that this time tomorrow I could have real egg on my face. At the beginning of the week I sent a letter to the Advertiser (for those outside Newark our local paper) attacking Patrick for supporting the massive expansion in development in the town. I said in that letter I no longer thought he was a good constituency MP. OOps.

My timing could not have been worse of course and now I am rather hoping the letter won't get printed. This time tomorrow I will know whether or not I have added in some small way to his woes.

The fates conspire.

I fear I will have to be contrite if luck is not with me.

What Jack Stone is insinuating, is that because Patrick talked about race in the armed forces, that automatically makes him a racist, it is a disgraceful train of thought. You, Mr Stone are an intolerant bigot who slurs decent people according to your own view of how they should conform to your own brand of student politics, thought police Britain. You talk of tolerance. Your brand of tolerance is to demonize anyone who differs from your multicultural view of Britain and brand them neo-nazis. Mr Stone, you are a facist, a facist will not tolerate a different point of view, and that is exactly what you are Mr Stone, a facist.

Funnily enough Ted the very lasy posting I received from 'They Work for you' about Patrick's written questions this morning was concerned with him asking about the numbers of wounded me returning from combat zones who were contracting infections in Selly Oak hospital.

So he was at least trying to get some answers and do some good.

Sorry that should have said 'last' not 'lasy'

Mercer's comments were ridiculas.
He basically said that bullying and name calling etc was a part of army life (which it is) and soldiers (using black soldiers as an example, calling some idle and useless soldiers, very nice) should get over it. He should be condeming bullying not accepting it as the way life is.
Surely unity & respect in any army is important ginger, fat, black, asian or white?
With comments expressed I for one am glad Cameron sacked him.

Perhaps he should also be over in Iraq asking those nasty insurgents not to shoot at our nice boys.

Perhaps he feels that in the great scheme of things, having twice been the target of IRA assasination attempts and separately commended for bravery, a few harsh words are really the least a soldier has to worry about.

Poor old Cameron.... what a waste of a year! The poor guy changed the image of the party from a vile, racist, homophobic bunch of fruitcakes ..... and in one night.... we are reminded that if we scratch the surface... the same old vile lot are there.

I think Cameron is amazing, but he will never be able to steer them to victory, when this generation are still MPs. How many more comments like this from MPs?

Now do you realise why us floating voters could never touch you for years.

What a shame.... and because of your own stupidity we will probably have to put up with another 5 years of NuLab!

"Was it the bit that black soldiers play the race card when they're in trouble..."

It's very rarely I disagree with the content or tone of one of your comments Valedictoryan, but I have to pick you up on this remark in particular.

I daresay it's true that racial discrimination persists within the armed forces as it does with every walk of life and that is deplorable, however it almost inevitably means that there will be some people who would make bogus claims of being racially discriminated against as a means of deflecting criticism of any shortcomings.

Of course discrimination should not be tolerated, but those who cry wolf do little but foster mistrust and resentment amongst their colleagues, which is hardly conducive to an atmosphere of respect and understanding between people from different backgrounds.

In claiming that some ethnic minority soldiers cry wolf when it comes to racial discrimination, Patrick Mercer was not being racist, but I would say the manner in which he made this point was both careless and clumsy, and in doing so he has allowed the Conservatives to be misrepresented yet again.

For bringing the party into disrepute in this manner, resigning was probably the right thing to do.

PS I do agree with your sentiment on the ginger bastard/fat bastard/black bastard comparison - a display of unutterable stupidity on the part of Mercer.

Cameron and his mates should watch tonight's Channel 4's programme "The Great Global Warning Swindle", on at the moment.

With Cameron in charge the party was already in disrepute.

"With Cameron in charge the party was already in disrepute"

Tosh! He is the only thing you have going for you....

So thats why the Tories have been having such great success since he came to power.

JS I despise racism, homophobia and sexism. But your comments tonight, don't make me realise how our party have changed, which they have. No, your comments tonight have made me realise what a complete tosser you are, and how you should get back in the common room and chat with your fellow revolutionaries on how Britain missed out when the Angry Brigade were in their pomp. I give up.

"So thats why the Tories have been having such great success since he came to power."

That's exactly why Richard!

"No, your comments tonight have made me realise what a complete tosser you are, and how you should get back in the common room and chat with your fellow revolutionaries on how Britain missed out when the Angry Brigade were in their pomp. I give up."

I work in a Quant team for a Bank in the City! I left the common room 5 years ago my friend.

Daniel, you are right to daresay it's true… Ethnic minorities account for 7.6% of army personnel, but only 2.8% of officers. Sadly there’s no data to show how many soldiers have ginger hair but I’m happy to bet that they’re evenly distributed through the ranks. In other words soldiers may make fun of ginger hair, but I doubt they discriminate against it.

I’m sure that some people have played the race card but I’ve never seen any evidence that it’s widespread. The tone of Patrick Mercer’s comments was unacceptable. “I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless” is a subjective racial slur. He’s implying that ethnic minority soldiers are more idle and useless than whites. IF there were any truth to that, a laissez-faire interview with The Times would not be the place to reveal it.

It's obvious to me that there can never be co-operation between the pro-freedom Conservatives on this forum and the pseudo-Conservative Fascists who agree with Blair's Socialist Political Correctness.

Jack Stone is very obviously one of the fascists who wants to drag this party down. His views are utterly appalling.

When I was in the Navy we had a black fellow on the ship and he was liked by all. He used to get called all sorts of names and took it in good part. Nobody minded.

That's the trouble with dictatorial Socialism. No sense of humour.

JS: Now do you realise why us floating voters could never touch you for years?

Jarod Weaver: No, your comments tonight have made me realise what a complete tosser you are.

Jarod, I do hope you don't do that on the doorstep ahead of May! Remedial canvassing training is available...

"He used to get called all sorts of names and took it in good part. Nobody minded."

James Holiday, you are a disgrace.

"He used to get called all sorts of names and took it in good part. Nobody minded."

You know what, maybe I'm wrong to be shocked by the above. Maybe I am just a champagne drinking London living liberal who has been brain washed by the PC Guardianista's. But I just can't help feeling that these comments are wrong. Sorry....

Valedictoryan at 22:08 - we seem to be agreeing essentially, although I would question the 'subjective racial slur' point.

Still, it's nice to have a rational, constructive discussion with you rather than engaging in name-calling and mud-flinging with some of the other visitors to this site.

daniel
I am firm believer in a broad church party but must admit that I do cherish the hope that the majority of those have either already left the party or are trolls from Labour HQ/UKIP.
There will be some people who just don't realise the patience and understanding they were given by minorities who had to bear with apparent good humour unnecessary, bad mannered and what was in practice insulting abuse rather than cause a fuss.

Just out of interest (and not diminishing the seriousness of what Patrick Mercer said), is it worse to think that "black bastard" is OK language or to take the country to war on a lie?

James Holiday wrote - "When I was in the Navy we had a black fellow on the ship and he was liked by all. He used to get called all sorts of names and took it in good part. Nobody minded."

Beyond parody! Its stuff like this and other comments on this thread that make me even more supportive of Cameron despite my early reservations. DC clearly did the right thing and decisively too,

Matt

Why is that wrong? I am merely stating what happened. The coloured lad was just one of the shipmates. We all namecalled each other and had a laugh about it.

I think you have a serious personality problem chum. If you can't laugh at life you really aren't a typical Conservative.

More like a PC Socialist I would say.

Every time I think that I might vote Conservative once more 'call me Dave' gives me yet another reason not too!

My word, the trolls are out in force this evening aren't they?

Still with their playing up of Colonel Blimpesque stereotypes by using terms like 'coloured lad', these interlopers from other parties are just like compulsive flashers forced into psychiatric treatment against their will - they just can't help exposing themselves eventually.

Get back under your bridge, the lot of you.

No James, it just goes to show that you see colour before anything else. Which I have to say is socially shallow and narrow, and is the duldrens of humour. Which is probably why its used so much in the armed forces.

Mark Fulford

No contest but interviews like Mercer's make it harder to throw the dishonest shower out and make sure we never again go to war on a lie.

You only have to read the stupid nickname of the idiot above to judge the quality of his drivel.

I have been a paid up member of the Conservative Party for more than 20 years, in Chichester constituency if you want to check it.

I wonder which party you are interloping from.

Observer - my FIRST language is English! And I speak various languages including three from the subcontinent but URDU isn't one of them. Your prejudices are showing quite clearly!

And frankly, I am glad that it isn't the "old" conservative party anymore under Mr. Cameron. Its about time we started building a party that can provide fiscal responsibility, logical immigration policies and focus on expanding economy. We also need a party that can provide a real foreign policy for the 21st century even if it means climbing out of USA's pocket, being indepedent again, and looking eastwards for business and political benefit. MY Conservative party is capable of doing that far better than the "new" Labour or indeed your obvious favourite - BNP!

Of course that may not go down so well with a lot of bright "white" old Conservatives who would rather live off the welfare state while complaining about losing jobs instead of developing good old-fashioned entrepreneurial spirit, and send our sons off to fight America's dirty wars.

As for me, Mr. Cameron convinced me with his VERY under-reported economic and foreign policy statements through out the last year. The Mercer episode just gave me another reason to vote him into 10 Downing.

I honestly fail to see how a man who has served in the army and reports on the reality of what goes in there can be construed as racist. He wasn't saying the words that were said were right but just that they happened.

I see that several black soldiers who served alongside Patrick Mercer have this evening spoken up in support of him.

A pity that the leadership of this party have to treat people so childishly and fail to distinguish between racism and the discussion of subjects with a racial factor. If no Tory is allowed to talk about racial related issues I wonder how much this party can offer a diverse nation.

Yes these comments were politically unwise.
Yes racism is bad.
But the major problem here is that the man is telling the truth. The lefties have taught society that the vilest most abominable creature on this planet is a racist, so whenever a nerve is touched in this respect everyone starts screaming and firing people and apologising to everyone, while missing some key issues.
The cry of 'racism' is most definitely used as a cover for incompetence - I have seeen it many a time myself. This story is just another example of the problems of discrimination in society today, both negative and positive...

'Windmill' Dave has at least achieved one thing today by prostrating himself before the gods of left-liberal orthodoxy; and that is to act as a recruiting sergeant for UKIP and the BNP. If free speech is no longer tolerated in the Conservative party then I for one will have nothing to do with the Party.

Why did Eustice originally say these were private comments and no resignation was necessary yet was contradicted by DC's office later? Who does he speak for?

Anyone who thinks this was a resigning matter needs their head examined.

I accept that Mercer's comments, as reported, left Cameron in a quandary (but only from lefty media and professional race industry stirrers).

Tell you what a military man would have done - he would have stayed loyal to his colleague and copped a bit of flak if necessary. Sadly, Mercer was run out of town before the dozens of people who knew him in the army and wanted to vouch for his character (including black warrant officers and NCOs) were able to voice their support.

I have no doubt that Cameron KNOWS Mercer is not a racist, and that Mercer told it as it is. Therefore, this was moral cowardice to hang him out to dry.

As I understood what he has said, he was simply stating facts. He did NOT say that all ethnic minority soldiers are idle and use their race as an excuse, he said that SOME do. I don't think that denying what must be an indisputable fact is going to solve this problem.
Mr Mercer's appauling treatment just shows once more how this country has been captured by the views of an out of touch, politically correct elite who do not speak for the vast majority of the people.
Politicians are no longer even allowed to sound remotely critical of racial matters or they risk being villified as a racist.

It seems that while the facts themselves may not be racist, publicising them is an act of racisim!

Well it seems that the PC Bigots of the Camerloon tendency are out in force, but no surprise there.

I particularly loved "Ted"s comment that he believes in a Broad Church party but hopes that everybody who disagrees with him has either left the party or is a "UKIP Troll" (yawn!)

Let's nail a Camerloon Big Lie and in order to do so we'll buy one of their other lies -just for the sake of argument.

Apparently we lost the last three elections because we were the Nasty Party. OK let's buy it. Shal we take that to mean that over the period of the last three general elections at least 51% of the party shared something similar to the outlook of Mr Mercer?

OK we're agreed on that. Now we're the Nice Party and everything has changed, hasn't it?

Except that it hasn't. Probably 95%+ of the party membership are the same old people with the same old prejudices.

In other words we're still 'The Nasty Party'

Three cheers for Patrick Mercer and three Bronx Cheers for "Dave", the Notting Hill Set and all the rest of the raggle taggle bunch of Camerloons who tried to con people into believing that our party had changed when it hadn't.

And I've got more news for them.

We, the real Conservatives of the Conservative Party aren't going to let it.

Just to say, I'm right behind Patrick Mercer on this one. I cannot for the life of me see what he's done or said that calls for this response.

He has commented on racism in the army in typical Mercer language - truthful and to the point.

Cameron has played into the hands of those who would have this party portrayed as racist to the core by condemning what is not, or at least should not be considered to be, racist language. I also believe that the vast majority of those who go to the trouble of reading beyond the "Racist Tory sacked" headline will come to the conclusion that Cameron has got this wrong. I appreciate that the decision to keep him on would have been a bold one.

Pending upcoming boundary changes, I'll be a constituent of Col Mercer and I'm still looking forwards to the experience very much.

Unsurprisingly the press have picked up and focused on the story being 'racist'. It isn't at all racist it merely reflects the reality of life in the armed forces. Everybody gets abuse of one sort or another but it is rarely meant or taken in a personal manner it is simply part of the banter and the cameraderie of service life. Whatever they may say to each other in training they know that they can trust their lives to their colleagues should the need arise.
I think Cameron has reacted incredibly badly to this and it seems that he is saying that certain topics of debate are 'off limits'.
I have no doubt that Mercer could have phrased it somewhat better but the whole story has been horribly overblown

Leroy Hutchinson, a black former corporal who served with Mr Mercer for 12 years, said: "He never tolerated racism in the battalion and not a single one of his men would consider him to be racist."

Mr Hutchinson told the BBC: "In the forces... name-calling - whether you be black, white, ginger, red, brown - it is part of the establishment."

He added: "It's not meant and it doesn't come across from an individual as a racist comment. It's just part of the culture.

"When you wear that uniform, it is what goes on and it's been happening for a long, long time."

Why would you want to fight a campaign on their territory. Why not use some common sense and make the obvious point that no offence was intended, which to me is the most important thing, and if he is a racist so are the black soldiers who are backing him 100%

If we do not go on the front foot over the daily gaffs and lies from NuLab we lay ourselves wide open to cheap shots like this. Surely it is obvious from the reception that the Labour ministers get from the public that we dont need to go further into the unknown territory of the PC middle ground. How can his words be any worse than john reid's about 'foreigners, stealing our jobs and welfare' and he actually meant them!

NuLab policies have been a disaster and have clearly failed. We need to offer an alternative not tip-toe through PC land with policies that are not Tory policies

Similar statements would not be acceptable if made about Jewish soldiers/policement

Not unless made in Urdu

Posted by: Observer | March 08, 2007 at 20:30


Observer - my FIRST language is English! And I speak various languages including three from the subcontinent but URDU isn't one of them. Your prejudices are showing quite clearly!


Posted by: Anamika | March 08, 2007 at 23:31


Apologies Anamika, I had not realised you were from the Subcontinent and opined your anti-Jewish statements in English.....I had thought anti-Jewish commentary about "pigs and apes" was restricted to Arabic and Urdu speakers in mosques....now I see you are happy to say such things in English.

I think theres a close competition between Jack Stone and Alex Forsyth as to who can make the most stupid comments on this very depressing thread.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/596703.stm

the English had used their "propensity to violence to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland"

....Mr Straw will describe the English as "potentially very aggressive, very violent"

Now that is racist commentary

Thursday March 8th, what a day!
Mercer Vs Cameron & The great Global Warming Swindle. In one day two events have shown how our once-great Conservative Party has fallen for two post.Marxist cults. How do we get our Party back???

There's nothing racist about either of the comments he made. His apparent sacking offence was to cast doubt on the extent of racism in the armed forces. There may well be racism in some units, but during my time in the TA in Coventry back in 1998-2000 as a Signalman I was struck by the *absence* of anti-black racism in the army; and these were not 'politically correct' people. His point that harsh language is routine against everyone is correct, although my impression is that these days it's less likely to be used against black recruits, possibly for fear of racism allegations as above.

TomTom:
"the English had used their "propensity to violence to subjugate Ireland, Wales and Scotland"

....Mr Straw will describe the English as "potentially very aggressive, very violent"

Now that is racist commentary"

That's hilarious - yes on the one hand the English are by world standards a more than usually aggressive bunch, what John Keegan calls a 'warrior culture'. OTOH the English, the southern English especially, are notably *less* aggressive than the 'Celtic fringe' cultures of Ireland Scotland and Wales! As a Scots-Irishman I find the idea of peaceful Scots in their bucolic idyll conquered by aggressive Saxons to be hilarious.

I think theres a close competition between Jack Stone and Alex Forsyth as to who can make the most stupid comments on this very depressing thread.

When Malcolm's "depressed" I know I must be saying the right thing. However unlike Jack Stone, who is an obvious troll working for some other party, I am a genuine and very longstanding Tory. Too bad that upsets Malcolm. I like upsetting prigs.

Why don't we talk the truth about life, and about our party, instead of peddling lies?

Under Cameron I'm a very semi-detached Tory restricted to attending ocasional social events. OTOH that does give me a better chance of observing any such changes as may allegedly have occurred at intervals separated by long breaks.

In December I attended the local association Christmas dinner. There were about the same number as last year bar a small number of deaths and a couple of resignations among the regulars.

I have known nearly all these people for years and I would bet a fortune that in the matter of l'affaire Mercer almost all of them would side with the so-called "racist", indeed I would also bet that virtually all of them would be totally baffled by Cameron's attitude.

Incidentally most of these people voted for Cameron and still support him, although you might be hard pressed to get a satisfactory explanation why.

There were no members of ethnic minorities at the dinner, although an Asian couple have attended in the past. Most Tories aren't racist, but to be brutally truthful, most Tories seldom interact with members of ethnic minorities. I used to, when I worked in London, and with the exception of a couple of ancient colonial hands I'm probably one of their most "ethnically-experienced" members.

The Cameron PC antiracist stunt is a thin veneer on the surface of a Conservative Party whose members retain the views and attitudes they have always had; non-PC in other words.

Nor have the Camerlon trolls on CH "changed". Their obnoxious PC bigotry remains exactly the same obnoxious PC bigotry they subscribed to when these failed socialists first identified our party as a suitable second-choice launching pad for their political ambitions.

Even when I joined the party in either 1970 or 1971 proto-Camerloons were on the scene. Many of us thought Maggie had killed them off. Shame...

Next time no Mr Nice Guy.

I am annoyed that Patrick Mercer has been sacked for his honesty! He has said nothing that most of us do not already know - that the Army is a robust place where people get called names! Sometimes they get called racist names which of course is not right - but that does not make Patrick Mercer a racist - merely a man who tells it like it is!! David Cameron should not be pandering to the "political correctness" lobby!

It is not me that is calling Mr Mercer a racist it is his own party leader.
Racism is evil. It results in murders, violence and persecution and it is against all that a true Conservative should believe in.
Free speech should not come before the right of people to live without being insulted or discrimated against because of the colour of there skin.
I do not understand why many on this site seem fit to attack people for attacking racism or for that matter threaten to go off and join the fascists of the far right if the party attacks racism.
Alex Forsyth would be better off spending his time attacking racism and racist attitudes than trying to be so understanding about it.
And by the way Alex old boy I am not working for another party. I just don`t like the evil that racism is.

I still can't work out what Mercer said that shows him to be an unsuitable choice as shadow homeland security minister ... I don't normally offer personal criticism of Cameron (as distinct from his policies) but I have to say that if he's going to respond like this every time the so-called "liberal-left" starts yet another of its mindless clamours it doesn't bode well for the future of this country under his premiership. It reveals underlying weakness, not strength, of character, and I'm sure that won't go unnoticed abroad either. As leader it's easy for him to sacrifice somebody like Mercer to placate his domestic opponents, rather than tough it out, but what will he do when he's up against the Putins and Merkels?

"It is not me that is calling Mr Mercer a racist it is his own party leader"

Which just goes to show how out of touch with reality the party leader really is.

Let's abolish the office of Shadow Homeland Security itself. Mercer gave credibility to a post which is itself incredible anyway.

If MI5 doesn't even know the A-G has a mistress we have to wonder what is going on, and frankly I am beginning to see much of this hyped up Terrorism stuff by the Blairistas as froth as polticians look for New Themes for long-running series. They are after all mainly former TV executives who think in terms of cloned TV series.

And by the way Alex old boy I am not working for another party. I just don`t like the evil that racism is.

Well Jack, old boy, that just goes to prove not only that you are no Tory (we all knew that). You are not even an active member of the party.

At the risk of provoking outraged bleats of hypocrisy from assorted Camerloons I don't think - I know - that vast numbers of rank-and-file Tories have what might be described as quasi-Powellite views on "race".

Presumably that's one reason why the Camerloons insist on calling the party The Nasty Party, so on that question of fact we ought all to be agreed.

I suspect, however, it's a bit like the dual standards that apply when a black man uses the "n" word. It's OK for a Camerloon to suggest that the grassroots are to the right of General Pinochet but when a patriot says exactly the same "Unclean! Unclean!"

There's nothing new about having daft leftists in the party either but if Jack Stone were a genuine (allegedly OAP) member of the party he'd know that his bigoted views are representative of only a tiny minority, albeit that tail is currently wagging the parliamentary dog.

After all, even Malcolm rejects Jack. Reminds me of that old crack about Nixon's sphincter transplant.

If you read the Teletext story last night about this you could easily jump to the conclusion that Mercer was out of order. However Newsnight explained fully what he had said and the context in which those comments were made. I dont think Mercer should have been sacked. Cameron made a knee-jerk reaction, one I think was the wrong one. Mercer had a point. The 'worst' comment of all, the one about ethnic minorities, does have a point.

Its a sad sign of a society when we profess to have freedom of speech, and demand it for ourselves, then object to someone when they use that very freedom.

With any luck he will be restored to a cabinet place in time. Politically this was probably necessary, though I view it with great distaste.

Its not so much the "racist" or "freedom of speech" thing that is the point here. Its the way he was talking about this that was so insensitive and stupid. Its a bit like saying, "oh women like to be talked down to, its always been that way, it makes them feel they have a place", or something equally backward and silly. Then taking the analogy further we would have women who had worked with in this environment saying, "Oh yes they used to call us names like "female b*st$rd" but thats just the way in offices isn't it....". As I said in an earlier post this is beyond parody and that fact that Alex Forsyth cannot see this would be illuminating except that most of us already know from his posts just how neanderthal he is,

Matt

James,
Patrick Mercer still has freedom of speech; wht he doesn't have is the right to a front bench position, that is in the gift of the leadership. I personally hope that after a time on the backbenches he will be able to return to a position suited to his strengths. IMHO the support he received from the men who served under him shows that he deserves this.

Unforunately he had not prepared for the interview and I think probably regrets giving the impression he did that it was something that should be accepted, nor that he really meant "a lot of" rather than a few. Sorry to bang on about this but too many of our frontbenchers do not prepare for interviews - remedial media training required.

that fact that Alex Forsyth cannot see this would be illuminating except that most of us already know from his posts just how neanderthal he is,

You mean, unlike your many friends on the left, Matt?

The ethos of the Cameron "line" is integral to the Political Correctness of The Labour and LibDem parties. It has no place in the Conservative Party which values freedom of speech above priggish far-left posturing.

10 years ago nobody would have suggested for a moment that Conservatives should ape alien far-left attitudes such as PC. Don't think that was quite the "Neanderthal" age Matt, but since apeing seems to be very much your forte perhaps we can regard you as The Missing Link.

I recently joined the Conservative Party after having been a Labour voter for a number of year. A major reason why I switched was that Labour has become obscenely politically correct in so many respects that it's destroying the very social fabric of the country. I'm horrified to see that the Conservative Party now seems to be following Labour's example and prostrating itself before the altar of political correctness.

Cameron should have stood by Mercer, not sacked him.

Ted, you know nothing about Patrick Mercer nor about his abiities or otherwise as a politician. You consider, from your extremely biased view, that he was unprepared and therefore made a mistake. Many others both here and, to judge from the comments on the BBC and other media comments pages, amongst the public at large saw absolutely nothing wrong in what he said nor the way he said it.

It is Cameron who has shown political ineptitude (yet again) and personally I think Mr Mercer is far better off on the back benches where he is not subject to the whims and idiocies of a man who is clearly unsuited to lead any sort of organisation let alone a political party

Richard, I hope that good men like Patrick Mercer will form the backbench "shock troops" of a future Conservative revival.

In the meantime would one of the "usual suspect" Camerloons care to explain to me why our leader is now adopting PC mores which were once retricted to the far-left.

A can remember a Tory Army Minister (I think his name was Freeston)saying something far more dismissive about alleged army racial discrimination about 20 years ago. He certainly didn't get sacked.

So why are we apeing the left? Is this an admission that their morals and atttudes are somehow more lofty and virtuous than ours?

Any answers?

Let me get this right- Mercer's been sacked for telling the truth?! For F's sake! I'm getting sick and tired of this rabid PC-ism in politics and especially from the 'ok-yah' brigade in our own party. Mercer has been one of the Shadow Cabinet who has been effective, persuasive, and above all convincing in his role as Homeland Security spokesman (not Person!). A facile sacking of an effective MP.

I really am stunned by the views being put forward on this website. Most of the people here are obviously apologists for racists.

The issue here is not what he said, but what he did not say in the interview. He showed no remorse for the use of these words; gave no evidence that he challenged those who used these terms; said that it should be tolerated.

Fact: ethnic minorities should not have to tolerate such abuse. Sad thing is, most of the people here are white so have never suffered racist abuse so do not know how shaming it is.

And 'howsthatracist'? Funny you've gone running since my last post. Unable to answer my questions? You daft racist...

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR

Like Sean Fear, I think that Patrick Mercer was rather tactless and should have been reprimanded. End of story.....expect that the caring, sharing, Blairing Cameron should be condemning all forms of bullying in the forces, not just racist bullying. It is quite obvious Mercer is not a racist, not least because he is getting lots of support from a former black colleague in the forces. Just as with Howard Flight, the leadership of the Tory Party panicked under fire from news organisations who hate them anyway and whom they are still desperate to appease. None of this augurs well for a General Election campaign when the Tories will be under much more intense fire from Brown and Co.

Jack Stone offers us his usual garbage. Also Mr Stone's supposedly deep commitment to ending racism is so much hot air. On this site, he has been a passionate advocate of (a) appeasing the IRA, a deeply racist and violent organisation, and (b) appeasing terrorists in the Middle East, most of whom are virulently anti-semitic. When it comes to confronting violent racist organisations which might threaten his personal security (unlike his pet obsessions, the BNP and UKIP), Jack Stone's anti-racist credentials turn out to be a sham. By contrast, Patrick Mercer served in Northern Ireland with distinction.

Liam Murray, I have answered your question about what should have happened to Mercer. You tried to trap me into a false choice between supporting Cameron's panicky reaction and defending Mercer. Go on. make my day, call me a racist. Defining what "racism" means is only "boring" to people like you who don't believe in free speech. Your ilk no doubt told Winston Churchill in 1937 that it was "boring" to "bang on" about rearmament.

Richard

He himself regretted his words and that they may have caused offence. I can judge his political aptitude by his actions and his preparedness by his surprise at being "misunderstood".

There is nothing politically correct about saying that acceptance of racial abuse is wrong nor does it demonstrate extreme bias - those who defend Mercer on basis he was just saying it like it is presumably agree that "lots" of ethnic minority soldiers use race as an excuse and they should just put up with name calling. I think that any soldier, on Her Majesty's service, deserves better than that and cannot understand why any Conservative would think that a member of our armed forces should put up with it.

"people your generation will, thankfully, be dead very soon. and we can bury/cremate your bigoted, outdated look on life with you."


Well, I think it's clear from that post who the true bigot is.

so i'm a bigot for wanting to see the back of a generation of powellites who still maintain that air of white superiority over other races?

fantastic doublethink there!

so i'm a bigot for wanting to see the back of a generation of powellites who still maintain that air of white superiority over other races?

fantastic doublethink there!


You're a bigot for wishing that a whole generation of people who disagree with your left wing outlook will die off.

Seamus, your main problem is that you are a self-righteous authoritarian tosser. Sean does decent people like himself a disservice by lavishing courtesy on pond life like you. Kindly sod off to your true home: the Labour Party.

Seamus Donovan. Show some respect for your elders! Has it ever occurred to you that the views of the older generation, whom you clearly despise, are based on experience and wisdom? You treat them as if they are deviants. But it is the PC zealots who are the deviants from the tradition of British commonsense and fairplay.


Actually, it was a remarkably nasty comment Michael.

Imagine if you or I were to say of old style Labour supporters (of the type you know in Stoke) "thankfully, people of that generation will be dead very soon........."

There is no one in the World more unpleasant or dangerous than the fanatic who's convinced of his own righteousness.

Quite right, Sean.....but as you and I have konw for a long time, there are some pretty diseased minds on the vigilante wing of the Modernising Tendency.

"Actually, it was a remarkably nasty comment Michael"

Which comment was nasty? using the word 'n****r' and showing no remorse? using the phrase 'black b*****d' and showing no remorse.

I stand by what i said. there are a lot of people from an older generation who hold such despicably prejudiced views about their fellow man that yes, I believe when they die our country will be a much more tolerant place.

of course, there are young fanatics who hold similarly racist views, but alas, we just have to wait for them to die off later in the century. but at least these old white racists will be gone sooner rather than later

alex forsyth? how old are you? people your generation will, thankfully, be dead very soon. and we can bury/cremate your bigoted, outdated look on life with you.

Posted by: seamus donovan | March 09, 2007 at 11:59

Oh little Seamus has an opinion does he ? How charming that even he can enjoy free speech, pity he has to abuse it. Obviously time for him to be kicked off the bench - front or back !

"yes, I believe when they die our country will be a much more tolerant place."

I hear the sound of white coats flapping.

What Patrick Mercer said in the interview


Patrick Mercer, Conservative homeland security spokesman and a former colonel, was asked about racism in the armed forces. This is his reply

Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

"I had the good fortune to command a battalion that was racially very mixed. Towards the end, I had five company sergeant majors who were all black. They were without exception UK-born, Nottingham-born men who were English - as English as you and me. They prospered inside my regiment, but if you'd said to them: 'Have you ever been called a nigger?' they would have said: 'Yes.' But equally, a chap with red hair, for example, would also get a hard time - a far harder time than a black man, in fact.

"But that's the way it is in the army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting: 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.'

"I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless, but who used racism as cover for their misdemeanours. I remember one guy from St Anne's (Nottingham) who was constantly absent and who had a lot of girlfriends. When he came back one day I asked him why, and he would say: 'I was racially abused.' And we'd say: 'No you weren't, you were off with your girlfriends again.'

"In my experience, when you put on the uniform then all differences disappear. If you are a good soldier, you will do well. If you are a bad soldier, you will leave prematurely. There is a degree of colour-blindness among the vast majority of soldiers.

"I never came across a piece of nastiness inside the battalion that was based exclusively on racism."

Remarkable, isn't it, that Mercer's critics are not condemning the crude ageism of Seamus Donovan's remarks. I haven't a clue about the precise views of " a lot" of older people about these issues. Nor does he: I suspect that they are in fact quite varied. But then among some of the Modernisers, certain types of bigotry are entirely acceptable.

I wonder if we might have the option to rank Patrick Mercer's performance in the next CHome opinion poll?

Quite agree with Sean's strictures on the nastiness of Seamus's comments.

However a spiteful elf prompts me to say that I could be appalled by the attack on Seamus's right to free speech. He is after all merely stating the facts; that there are Conservatives who have those views, they are on the whole the older members of our party and their passing will result in the loss of those attitudes from our party.

I do not however suport what he says and were he on the front bench I would support his immediate sacking.


Wishing for the deaths of large numbers of people, Ted, goes beyond any reasonable bounds of debate.

Ted, he is entirely free to say whatever he likes, in the toxic style which he has perfected. He can however expect a vigorous response. That's the nature of free speech.

It is sad to see the Cameron apologists frantically scrabbling around for some way to support their inept leader and ending up having to resort to personal abuse because they have no cogent arguments to make in this discussion.

For the record guys, simply saying something is racist doesn't make it so no matter how much you might wish it.

The only mistake Patrick made was the one Ted mentioned. He said sorry. He had nothing to apologise for and making that apology only undermined the correctness of his position.

Anyone who can look at what Patrick said and can, for a minute, think it was either racist or a mistake is really not living in the real world. But then that is lmost the definition of a Cameron suporter.

Hmm I'm old enough to remember Enoch Powell.
And not so old that dementia has set in and I have forgetten Howard Flight.

I used to vote Conservative because Labour were run by people who sincere as they undoubtedly were would end up ruining the UK. (which they did under Callaghan - I remember him as well and Harold Wilson).


Then it all fell apart and I stopped voting Conservative: and the party ended up being run by Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard who all spoke and acted as if the 20th century had not happened, and who encouraged the nuttier and less acceptable trends in the Party.

Forget Freedom of Pseech issues for a second. As a floating voter I expect Minister and Shadow Ministers to speak and act in a way that serves as a reasonable example. I don't expect sainthood - it's very rare:-) - but on MAJOR issues I do expect a sensible level of sticking to civilised standards.

Racism is an issue in this country for many people. It's also a senstive one.. Ask the Met about Stephen Lawrence.

Any politician worth his or her salt - except of course for the BNP - would recognise that in his or her dealings and speeches.


Mercer acted as if racism is not an issue. He was stupid and insensitive.. rather like the Conservatives under the past 3 leaders I mentioned above.

I may not particularly care for David Cameron but he is trying to make his party electable.

Anyone suggest that Mercer's speech has helped that?


As for Freedom of Speech issues, if Mercer really wants to talk like that he can.. on the backbenches...

I've had to carefully rethink my attitudes to the CP after many of the posts I have read here and elsewhere.. I think the Conservatives have a LONG way to go to escape their attitudes which helped them to (deservedly )lose power.

The last poster said "Forget freedom of speech issues" for a minute. With views like that, perhaps he/she should just carrying on voting for Labour. They will fit in well there. If the Conservative Party needs that sort of voter, then it really is drinking in the last chance saloon.

Sean

Did Seamus "wish the deaths of large numbers of people" or did you read that into his comments - I read that he was looking forward to the fact that that would happen naturally as a result of age.


Being picky I know but this debate is about was said and what was meant.

Must admit though that there are thousands I do wish would meet their maker soon - Robert Mugabe, along with Fidel, the presidents of Equatorial Guinea, Burma, Sudan and hordes of Al Qaeda, Mahdi Army and other terror organisations.

Michael MacGowan, you said:

"I haven't a clue about the precise views of " a lot" of older people about these issues. Nor does he: I suspect that they are in fact quite varied. "

Erm. Interesting. Why not read what that bigot Alex Forsyth said earlier:

"At the risk of provoking outraged bleats of hypocrisy from assorted Camerloons I don't think - I know - that vast numbers of rank-and-file Tories have what might be described as quasi-Powellite views on "race"."

He also said this:
"In December I attended the local association Christmas dinner. There were about the same number as last year bar a small number of deaths and a couple of resignations among the regulars.

I have known nearly all these people for years and I would bet a fortune that in the matter of l'affaire Mercer almost all of them would side with the so-called "racist", indeed I would also bet that virtually all of them would be totally baffled by Cameron's attitude."


So, don't take my word for it. Just speak to Alex Forsyth. He hangs out with the old people; and he finds that most of them agree with him.

My point is straighforward enough. Their views belong in the 1930s. They are deplorable. And this country will be a more tolerant place without them. As a result, when they die, thankfully, their relaxed attitude towards non-whites will go with them. And thank god for that!


of course, that should read "relaxed attitude to racism towards non-whites"


I think you should take the beam out of your own eye first, Seamus, before complaining about the speck of dust in that of other people.

end italic

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