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A life less bollywood

By ATWadmin On April 20th, 2007 at 8:09 am

p1a.jpgShilpa , Bollywood or Baby?

Baby Halder is a maid in India whose life reads with a similar combination of great courage and inspiration to Mukhtars.  She posseses an inate dignity and matter of factness about the hardship and abuse inflicted upon her that puts Shilpa in her place.  Her story was certainly a local hit and received some media coverage here when it came out. I dont recall too much about it. Probably because without the glamour or indignant outrage it wasnt generating the kind of headlines a Bollywood wedding, a Richard Gere snog, or Jade’s expletives generate.  Lets face it, if you are asked to think of an Indian star, Baby doesnt spring to mind.

An employer curious at her interest in reading the books she was dusting at his home, encouraged her to read and write and eventually pen an autobiography which became a hit. The courage and determination was all her own – the pivotal moment came much earlier though when Baby did the unthinkable and left her abusive husband in search of a ‘better life’ for her and her children.

"It is the most difficult thing for a woman to do," "People in the villages say dirty things about you, but I wanted to give my children a better life, so I had no choice." "One woman told me that this was precisely her story too, which made me very happy," she said. "There are so many other women in India who have left home like me. There is no support for them – life is not easy, and they are not able to speak out.". Finding that courage led her to work as a maid in the home of Prabodh Kumar, a retired professor and writer with publishing contacts who encouraged her education.

Abandoned by her mother, Baby was married off at 12 to a man much older than her, pregnant by 13,  denied a childhood:

"Where should I start? Should I begin with how when I was seven-years-old my mother suddenly left us by thrusting a coin each in our hands, or tell you about how my nephew told my Baba that he saw his father strangling his mother, my Didi, to death, or how my Baba used to suddenly vanish from our life and then resurface. Or should I tell you about my husband to whom I was married off when I was 12 and why I left him and came to Delhi with my three children?"

She talks naively about her own marriage, in stark contrast to Bollywoods glamour, which through the eyes of a child she saw as  ‘a good thing…because at least I will get to have a feast." And about playing kids games with her friends when she was pregnant unaware she was to become a mother so early on herself . She certainly throws a less flattering light on the India Shilpa Shetty popularises and which even Jade, fed up with her snobbery, clumsily alluded to when she ‘told’ Shilpa in uncertain terms to go back and talk to the people in the slums.  Writing of one employer:: "As soon as she sat down I’d offer her tea, water, sherbet, whatever she wanted. Then I had to massage her head or her feet or whatever: The work was never ending."

"When I wrote I felt like I was talking to someone and after writing I would feel lighter, as if I had taken some sort of revenge against my father, who never took care of me as a father should, and against my husband," she says. "I never thought that other people might be interested in reading my story."

She seems proud that her book ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ has served in changing her father’s attitude: "He said nobody in our family has gone so far in life and that makes me feel very good…he would like to go back to the days when we were kids and undo all the wrongs that he did towards us and my mother, I felt very good," she recounts. Her story has been translated into various languages.  She remains working as a maid for the same employer and is currently writing another book.


By ATWadmin On April 20th, 2007 at 7:48 am

amnesty.gifWhen I was younger, I had this notion that Amnesty International (AI) was a worthy organisation, fighting on the part of freedom and liberty for all. The fact that some of my favourite comedians like Peter Cook and John Cleese lent their name to it also encouraged me, of course I should have known better. However one of the side effects of 9/11 has been to expose the contemporary AI as little more than a bunch of US-hating Jihad-loving morally relativist hypocrites. The light in their iconic candle has long gone out. Today comes the news that AI has condemned Iraq as the world’s fourth highest user of the death penalty. More than 270 people have been sentenced to death since mid-2004 and at least 100 of them have been executed, the report said. That 270 would include the Bagdad butcher Saddam, his accomplices and those captured and convicted Jihadists. Such application of Iraqi justice appalls the brave boys and girls at Amnesty. I presume they wanted to see Saddam undergo anger management classes and perhaps a little aromatherapy?Let me explain why I have come to despise Amnesty. Like so many other organisations of the left, it has gradually moved to the point where by embracing modern day liberalism it CANNOT distinguish between right and wrong. That would be just tooo judgemental. So it attacks the Iraqi Government in this report, but fails to accept that a major WAR has been happening in that country, a war conducted by Islamic terrorists, self-detonators, by the same people who brought us 9/11. The Iraqi Government has an absolute right to apply its own legal standard of justice to those convicted of crimes such as genocide (Saddam) and mass murder (The Jihadi). Where does AI get the "moral right" to condemn Iraq for this. Oh yes, that’s right – because all good lefties oppose capital punishment and God help any nation that diverges from AI opinion, such as the US.

I’ve watched AI locally escort suspected Al Queda (ex-Gitmo)operatives into media outlets; I’ve heard AI spokesmen explain why the war on Islamic terror is unacceptable to them; I’ve also heard AI spokesmen make the most outrageous accusations against US behaviour at Guantanamo Bay. It’s as if George Bush is the very manifestation of evil in their eyes akin to Ahmadinejad. Kim Kin Il, Mugabe and the rest of the gang.

Here’s the bottom line. Amnesty International has morphed into an abomination, a hateful love-in for US bashers, a bastion for liberal self-loathers. It now sees terrorist and terrorised as the same. It insists that it has a right to impose its own faux values on others and dares to proclaim itself on the "high moral ground" when in fact it is sunk in the sewers of its own twisted morality.

the last boy scout

By ATWadmin On April 20th, 2007 at 7:03 am

enoch powell.jpgThirty-nine years ago today, one of the most articulate, educated and, most importantly honest, politicians ever to have graced the British political stage committed suicide! Not actual suicide of course, that would have been totally beneath the urbane intellect which was owned by Enoch Powell; the term was political suicide, and the weapon of choice was a speech which told the truth, at least the truth as seen by this clever and far-sighted man.

The print media, which in those days of course dominated the information domain, leapt upon this story, took his prophetic statements, cherry-picked the bits which suited their own purposes, and helped to destroy one of the few honourable politicians this country has ever placed it’s trust in.

His own Tory Party disowned him, dropped him from the Cabinet, and in both public and private, excoriated this wise and far-sighted man whose only fault was to say out loud what many thought in private!

Let us examine his “Rivers” speech, and see what has become of his prophetic words on the country which he loved. One statement, “In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man." brought especial fury from the liberal left and the smug commentators. Exchange ‘Muslim’ and ‘Asian’ for the word ‘black’ and one can see every day the flowering of an uncomfortable truth in his words. Another phrase was “Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.” We can see that truth mirrored in the huge foreign, immigrant populations of our slum cities!

He went on to comment “It almost passes belief that at this moment 20 or 30 additional immigrant children are arriving from overseas in Wolverhampton alone every week – and that means 15 or 20 additional families a decade or two hence. Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancés whom they have never seen.” The uncontrolled flood of “bogus asylum seekers”, allowed in by a combination of a dithering Conservative Government and an uncaring and blind Labour administration under Blair, together with the river of legal migration forced upon us by the European Union, has brought Powell’s nightmare ever closer!

We were told that we should embrace the ‘culture’ of countries such as Jamaica, which would lend ‘colour’ to our grey nature. We see instead the ‘Gun’ and ‘Gang’ culture of the ‘Yardies’; where the only colour is blood-red, and that from the wounds of the dying. We see ever-rising numbers of foreigners on our streets, bringing truly foreign ways onto our streets. The outlandish howl of some clown with a ‘message’ from a minaret drowns out the mellow chimes of English churches, but we are told that we should accept this as their ‘right’ in this ‘multicultural’ country which has been overrun by a Muslim avalanche, and although that avalanche was slow in ignition, the force behind such a movement is ever-growing!

Powell ended with these words; “Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.” We have not heard any better words in thirty-nine years, and with the swarm of legislation deemed necessary to accommodate our fast-growing hordes of permanent visitors, I do not think we ever will!

Rotten to the Supreme Core

By ATWadmin On April 20th, 2007 at 12:44 am

ahm.jpgHere’s a story to bear in mind when you next see the smiling face of Ahmadinejad. First the good news: six brutal killers, members of the hard-line vigilante Basiji Force, have been convicted of the murders of five people. The bad news is Iran’s theocratic Supreme Court has overturned the verdicts. Three lower courts had found them guilty, but, according to the NYT:

“Iran’s Islamic penal code, which is a parallel system to its civic code, says murder charges can be dropped if the accused can prove the killing was carried out because the victim was morally corrupt. This is true even if the killer identified the victim mistakenly as corrupt.

What exactly is deemed corrupt is shown by two of their last victims, a couple engaged to be married, accused of “walking together in public”, enough in the eyes of these depraved killers and their indulgent “spiritual” guides to warrant their deaths. If anything alleviates the misery of the story it’s that this has not been unopposed, with newspapers reporting it and lawyers criticising the decision. I wonder how those brave dissenters will feel about Iran’s application for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Tories caught in flagrante delicto with a Dyke

By ATWadmin On April 19th, 2007 at 7:35 pm

The new, caring, compassionate Tory Party’s descent into farce continued yesterday, when it was revealed that they had been busy making advances to Greg "hideously white" Dyke. Apparently, the Tories wanted him to stand as a joint Tory-Lib Dem candidate in the London mayoral elections. Unfortunately (or perhaps not so unfortunately), it seems that the Lib Dems were not taken with the idea.

I’m not quite sure why they disliked it so much. After all, whatever banner Dyke might have campaigned under, the fact remains that he is a former Labour Party member, who has since given money to the Lib Dems. Dyke is so very much a man of the left that even Iain Dale, chief online propagandist for the Cameron project, acknowledged that Dyke "doesn’t have a Conservative bone in his body" (so he probably has quite a lot in common with David Cameron, then). For Heaven’s sake, the man (I refer to Dyke, and not to Cameron, to whom I would hesitate to apply the word) has even expressed his admiration for Red Ken. Any alliance of the Tories and the Lib Dems behind Dyke would really have been nothing more than the Tories standing down in favour of the Lib Dems.

Why the Tories were keen on the idea is even more unclear. Dyke would undoubtedly be just another left-wing mayor, albeit somewhat less anti-Semitic than Livingstone. A Dyke v Livingstone contest would have the effect of leaving all traditional Tory voters with no candidate who both reflected their views, and had a chance of winning. In politics, seeking to disenfranchise your opponents’ supporters is morally reprehensible, but seeking to disenfranchise your own supporters is simply indescribable and, I believe, unprecedented, at least on this scale.

The story also serves to demonstrate the extent to which the Tories have sold out their principles as part of the Cameron experiment. Pragmatism is one thing, and forming alliances with broadly like-minded groups is reasonable and sometimes necessary, even if one disagrees with them on some issues. But here the Tories were prepared to ally with a party of the left, which stands opposed to almost all the beliefs that genuine conservatives hold. If Cameron and his minions, notably Francis Maude (the creature responsible for this latest piece of idiocy) adhered to any of those beliefs, they could not have done this. That they have done so demonstrates nothing other than their absolute duplicity, and lack of principle. All genuine conservatives in Britain should wish to see the "Conservative" Party annihilated as soon as possible, in order that a truly conservative force (the BNP, perhaps?) may emerge.

You cannot have one PM without the other

By ATWadmin On April 19th, 2007 at 1:27 pm

blairahern-203.jpgThe DUP tried to tell us that they had to say yes to terrorists in government because unless they agreed the Government would press ahead with “partnership arrangements”.

One could be forgiven for thinking that Dublin still has a teeny wee say in our affairs.

Mr Blair and Mr Ahern acted as political double act in relation to Northern Ireland before St Andrews and they continue as such.

They are as closely linked as … well Dr Paisley and Martin McGuinness.

O’Loan Shark

By ATWadmin On April 19th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

She’s off and it’s good riddance.  The government has advertised for a replacement for the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.  Nuala O’Loan, the Cockney Irish blow-in who’s about as impartial as I am (at least I admit it!!), is about to bow out of the position she has held since 1999.  Born in London to parents from the Republic of Ireland (that alone should have made her completely unsuitable for the job), she has lived in Northern Ireland since 1977.  Some Unionists have criticised her for not coming from a judicial background.  That’s not my beef.  O’Loan is a solicitor by profession and has a long history of serving on the NI Police Authority.  You can’t argue she has no legal connections.

What really gets on my goat is the complete lack of impartiality that went in her selection.  She is married to separatist pursuer and councillor, Declan O’Loan of the SDLP (Subdue, Denigrate and Lash the Protestants) party.  A public appointment in a position like this should only be awarded to someone who is totally impartial.  Let’s look at that ‘impartiality’, shall we?  Married to a separatist; two foreigners for parents; and with a son recently given a caution for mouthing sectarian slogans in a public place.  Must be a tight set-up in the O’Loan household.

I don’t care what she says or what her defenders will say.  In my opinion there is no way she could be impartial.  She has commissioned investigations that have sullied the collective good name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC without so much as a molecule of substantiated evidence.  She has incurred the ire of the former Chief Constable; upset former officers who were there purely to hold the line against terrorism; and angered the Unionist majority in NI.  On what?  Enquiries long on bilge, short on evidence!

I expect the next incumbent to be party neutral.  I don’t want somebody who sits curled up on the sofa of an evening – watching Coronation Street with a nationalist.  Don’t think that’s too much to ask!!



By ATWadmin On April 19th, 2007 at 12:29 pm

And so it goes and so it goes but where it’s going no one knows.

Except I do. I refer of course to the ongoing efforts to sanitise Mr Martin McGuinness, a self-confessed IRA terrorist, and present him as a charming nay lovable man, our beloved Deputy First Minister with his good pal, the Rev Ian Paisley. He and Paisley have issued ANOTHER joint statement, this time congratulating the Irish Cricket team on their tremendous achievement of being knocked out of the World Cup. Mr McGuinness is described in the press release as an "avid cricket fan." How nice for him. And how wonderful that all the heinous IRA murders carried out in Londonderry when he was the senior IRA commander can now be dismissed. Best let the dead rot and let their next of kin swing in the breeze, avuncular Martin has cricket to watch.

A Challenge To Debate The Issues

By ATWadmin On April 19th, 2007 at 9:11 am

It is an oft-lamented fact of political life in Britain that the three main parties have already basically decided the answers to all the important questions for us. And also that offering a different answer to those important questions brings down a host of insults and intimidation on those who question this orthodoxy. It is for this reason that the British National Party is on the rise, and that the louder and shriller the insults thrown at them by those afraid to debate them on the issues and the policies they espouse, the more their votes seem to increase.

 I was very dissappointed to note that when a ‘BNP Member’ challenged our ATW readers to a rational debate on the merits of BNP policy he was met with nothing but childish insults and the sound of feet running away to comfort zones.

I sincerely hope we at ATW can do a lot better than that. So, please go here and read what this Party has to say, then if/when you disagree, pull it apart in a rational, sensible manner on this open thread.

Now’s our chance to prove we are grownups and that we can beat our political opponents on the issues and not by use of hysterical insults. I will be popping on to this thread every few hours and I sincerely hope I see rational commentary and not childishness. Its up to you.

A Load of Old Rubbish

By ATWadmin On April 19th, 2007 at 9:10 am

I haven’t mentioned this up to now but a few weeks ago my nan suffered a severe stroke.  In the intervening period we (my father and I) have managed to find her an excellent nursing home and we are now in the process of emptying her old flat.  Her most treasured furnishings and possessions have gone with her to the new address and the remainder consists of items she no longer wants or needs (don’t old people hoard some rubbish!!?).  I’ve just returned from her flat where me and dad are about halfway through the endeavour.  She lived in a smart complex of flats on the outskirts of Halifax.  Today is the day the rubbish collection takes place.  As we approached the entrance we noticed the black bags had already been placed on the kerbside for collection.  Unfortunately, one of them must have been ravaged by a stray cat for there was rubbish scattered about.

Whilst we were at the flat we noticed the rubbish wagon arrive with its crew of classically expressionless operatives.  We stopped what we were doing to look out of the window and see if the discarded litter would also be disposed of.  When it came to the damaged bag the operative picked it up (allowing other items of rubbish to fall on to the pavement), tossed it in the crusher, and carried on regardless.  He didn’t even bother to pick up the items his clumsy methods of collection had created, let alone the rest of the stuff.

What this says about the attitudes of the average British workman could fill a book to keep cynics entertained for hours.  The point I wish to make here is that most local authorities are now heavily sedated on this ‘environmental’ kick.  Indeed, the Daily Telegraph points out this morning that nine million households in England and Wales don’t even have weekly collections any more.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t rubbish collections supposed to be funded from our ever-increasing Council Tax contributions?  Surely if local authorities were so concerned about environmental impact they would be equally keen to ensure the streets were cleared of greater and greater volumes of rubbish; to ensure the plethora of electrical goods fly-tipped on country lanes would be disposed of; and take greater care over the normal waste collections as opposed to letting half of it spill forth on the pavement.

However, at the end of the day, fortnightly rubbish collections are no more about looking after the environment than I’m a Marc Bolan lookalike.  I recently contacted the head of environmental services at Calderdale Council.  In a borough of nearly 200,000 people there are 5 dedicated street cleaning teams.  Five!!!!!!  Forget the planet, sanitation issues are the new cudgel by which politicians force us to pay more for a poorer service in return.  It’s amazing how many people are conned once the spectre of environmental friendliness is allowed to penetrate the psyche.