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Perhaps bith sides of the immigration debate might wish to consider the implications of this piece of news:

I think I read the immigration question like the Editor in that I felt that over history immigration has been good for our country. I didn't see it just in terms of economics but also in terms of developing the culture of our country. However I do agree that large recent influxes are straining the situation worryingly and this needs addressing,


One implication is that there'll be a lot of scope for confusion with so many men all called Mohammed, and like the Joneses in Wales it'll have to be "Mohammed the Taxi", "Mohammed the Halal", "Mohammed the Shop" and so on.

Mark, think "Tradional Tory" might be Mitzi...

Traditional Tory,
Certainly sounds a bit nicer than where I am in Southampton!I presently live in students halls in Swaythling (Moving to Portswood in July)! There are quite a few immigrants in the area, but I wouldn't say they cause any real issues, and are generally pretty friendly. I enjoyed having a conversation with a Polish worker in the corner shop after he'd spotted the Polish currency in my wallet and mistaken me for being polish too!

Alan Whitehead and John Denham are leading a charge against the conversion of family homes into HMOs at present, and I'm eagerly awaiting to hear our new council (First Tory in 23 years :-) ) leader's opinion on the debate. Some city residents are concerned about the student and immigrant "ghettos" that are supposedly arising.

Posted by Justin at 19.45 - Mark, think "Tradional Tory" might be Mitzi...

No more likely "Myxi"... ;)


Well Chris, as I'm sure Mark will confirm, the shoreline at Netley is an extremely pleasant area with a 'village' atmosphere.

In fact, despite the nearby ruins of the Abbey (of Ingoldsby Legends fame), it is not an ancient village; it developed to serve the former Military Hospital - long gone.

However near the centre of Southampton you are developing what virtually amounts to a monocultural Muslim zone. A Sikh told me he was getting out. 'There are too many loonies round here'.

This kind of thing is not 'developing our culture' It is building up a host of potential problems for the future.

Traditional Tory, why don't you and your sophisticated friends come around for some sausages on a stick and vodka martinis? I think William Norton might like to join us, and perhaps some others too. Justin? I could introduce you to some of the local businesses and residents and we could have a fine old time. The only problem is that you'd have to remove your disguise.

I'm up for it.

How about a masked ball Mark, in drag if you like?

I'll bring the rum punch and for William a supply of cherries with paper parasols stuck through them.

But who's going to drive me home?

Firstly, why the word 'believe' in the immigration question. Believe ia about values and faith - to accept as truth even if there is no concrete evidence eg I believe in faries, I believe in God, I believe sex outside of marriage is wrong. (Which covers both singles and adultery!) So is immigration too an article in faith?

Secondly look at the Bradford 40 years ago and then look at it's current very sorry state (a situation replicated in other towns) then please tell me what has been largely good for Bradford about immigration?

Thirdly, I presume this question, considering it's context, is not asking us about immigration pre WW2. And even if it was, just because past immigration has been beneficial, does not mean current immigration is/will be. All swans were believed to be white, until a black one came along. (please note there is no value judgement in that statement!)

I see Hazel Blears is reported on the pink news website, using this survey to claim the conservative party is riddled with homophobia, ie a third of tory members would snub their friends by refusing to go to their civil partnership ceremony.

People here seem to think that it's a good thing that only two-thirds of people would go to a civil partnership! My partner and I are having a very 'young', mainly "friends and immediate family" wedding ourselves, so my parents are hosting a party to which we've invited all of their friends and work colleagues etc. We are not talking metrosexuals - we are talking rural Worcestershire and suburban Birmingham and Wolverhampton. 80% of the invitees are 55-65 (2 of the guests are over 100) and we will be among the youngest people there (being in our late twenties).

Many of them are Conservative activists (although none have been a constituency chairman like my grandmother) and I would bet that more than a handful probably quietly vote UKIP, although many are people who always voted for Thatcher but ditched the party in the 1990s - ie the people we have to win back.

Only one couple has declined the invitation (they are on holiday at the time). Perhaps they're all "being curious" or they're "biting their tongues" in Traditional Tory's rather unpleasant phrase (is that to stop you yelling "Don't do it sodomites"?), but I think the reality is that having known me all my life they know that my relationship is not a threat to their marriages, or their children, and they recgnise that Britain is a better place with civil partnerships. I mentioned this survey to one of them (mid 50s teacher in Birmingham suburbia, 2 student age children) when she called me this morning to RSVP and she was disgusted that as many as one in three CH readers wouldn't go - "That reminds me why I stopped voting for them" were her words. When will people on here realise that this attitude isn't 'metrosexual Notting Hillism' but basic decency? Although I should add by way of balance that she supports selective education. Grammar schools and gay relationship recognition - now that's an agenda I could support enthusiastically!

Civil partnerships are beyond doubt a good thing and don't lose sight of the fact that the last two leaders of the conservative party and many of our MP's supported them.

I hope when throwing around these insults though that Hazel Blears is certain that homophobia in her own constituency party or elsewhere in the labour movement does not exist. I don't know who these third of CH readers are who feel this way, but when I told my conservative friends that I was gay I was touched by just how supportive they were.

I have to say that it seems a little harsh to criticise homosexuals for, among other things, promiscuity and lack of commitment and then to refuse to recognize the fact that many wish to take their relationships to a formal and, probably more often that not, monogamous level.

I do not wish to undercut marriage, which I regard as superior to all other relationship types for child rearing, but if homosexuals wish to solemnize their relationships I have to say that I approve. I would be glad to attend any civil partnership ceremony which had a free bar afterwards. And you can take that to the bank.

I do think there is a difference between being supportive to gay friends when they come out, and indeed having scruples of any sort about homosexuality, and answering an unreserved "yes" to attending a civil partnership ceremony if invited to by a friend.

I did not do the survey, but my answer would have to be "it depends". If it were one of my closest and/or most long-standing friends, then I would go. If it was more a friend or not too close relative of my wife's, and/or a very large affair when I would be more peripheral, I would definitely be less likely to go than to a wedding in the same category. I would also be more likely to go to the party than the ceremony. This is because, whilst I accept civil partnership, I definitely do not consider it the same as marriage between a man and a woman, which "is ordained by God" in a very closely linked relationship (in my mind, even if this is not theologically correct) to having and bringing up children. It is therefore something that one instinctively celebrates even if one doesn't know the couple. Nonetheless I question whether, if we did not have children, Inheritance Tax or our religious heritage, and marriage had not been invented, whether one would necessarily want to invent it. If I were gay, I would think that one of the advantages previously in being gay would have been not having any expectations from either partner(s) or the world that things should lead to marriage; and even the typically less monogamous lifestyle has its attractions. Leaving aside the religious significance, civil marriage is an open invitation to the State to interfere in the arrangements between individuals. Ask anyone who has ever been through a divorce. I await the reaction to the first mucky civil partnership divorces with interest.

Bearing in mind the above, part of the reluctance at attending a civil partnership would be knowing what one was letting oneself in for - would there be a lot of people calling it a wedding and a marriage, and a lot of gay friends regarding the whole thing as some sort of triumph over the "straight" world?

Now Hazel Blears and the like might regard all the above as homophobia. In fact it's partly because I would respect the feelings of those entering into a civil partnership that I would be cautious in attending something that I might not be able to see in the same light as the participants.

In the meantime, this is not entirely hypothetical as I know of two friends currently either planning or considering civil partnership (not with each other) and at least one other who might love to do it if they found the right person. For this reason, and the comments about monogamy from a married man, I am happy that in these discussions I can be totally frank as "Londoner".

I definitely do not consider it the same as marriage between a man and a woman, which "is ordained by God"

So you'd also be less likely to go to a civil marriage, where mention of God is specifically banned? I'm trying to understand whether your objection is religious or sexual.

Well put James. I hope you have a wonderful time on your big day!

Mark - a civil marriage is still a marriage in the eyes of most Christians, whether or not God is mentioned. It is the state of marriage between a man and a woman that is said to be ordained by God, not the specific ceremony. But, for the non-religious, I think one can take "ordained by God" in this context to mean "revered through long custom and practice since time immemorial (probably as a result of some profound anthroprological need)".

"Objection" (I did not actually say I objected) is therefore really on anthropological and institutional grounds rather than either religious or sexual, i.e. the point of having the institution of marriage (albeit not of every marriage) is children. Hence a form of "marriage" that can never involve the bearing of children in a natural way (not just in a particular example of that form of "marriage", but in all such "marriages") would to me, if I were gay, be relatively pointless and, more relevantly, I see little reason why the State would want or need to encourage it. That is why I disagreed with Cameron last year when he talked of exclusive and faithful relationships as being any business of the State. Children being brought up in a stable and committed environment/family however is.

But I too wish James well. If civil partnership is what some people think will make them happy - good luck to them. This discussion was about how whole-heartedly one could enter into the formal celebration alongside a happy couple, not about objecting to, or disapproving of, it.

"Tired and emotional" - I would not criticise gays for promiscuity. Take away the constraint of possibly putting at risk a stable home for ones children, and the disapproval of many of the females that one loves, and promiscuity is the pretty natural state for males, straight or gay. When it's two males rather than a male and a female, this propensity may be doubled.

Perhaps what would be really interesting would be to read the views of a 'right wing' Conservative - perhaps a Christian - who had indeed attended a Civil Partnership ceremony?

The Wright Island model on one-way migration proves that one-way migration causes complete genetic replacement of the island genes by the migrant genes.

Assume UK population was stable at 75mm, and people lived 75 years, and thus 1mm deaths per year. If 1mm migrants per year, then births equals zero if population not increasing. If migrants 500k/year, then births are 500k/year, so the genetic survival ratio per generation is 1/2. 25 years birth to death, so 75 years have 1/8 starting genes.

The 500k/year migrants can also be re-interpreted as births to recent migrants. The result is what David Baxter was discussing. Links to journal articles in genetics at link at my name.

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