Make Bradford Angry

Like most of Twitter, I was sat nervously in front of Make Bradford British tonight. Being in Bradford, I was more nervous than most.

There was an infuriating inevitability to Bradford being chosen for this show, because we are apparently the most culturally diverse city in the UK, and because we had a riot once which an alarming number of people still fail to understand the causes of.

When it was announced that there would be a Channel 4 show in Bradford, even before any details came to light, we all knew that the city was about to get a national panning for something, like always, because we're only ever considered for a bad story.

The fact that it was about race was yet another reminder that Bradford is apparently not like other cities. I know this, because I love everything that makes it different, but I am so bored of hearing about that one element, it's becoming tedious. Out of morbid curiosity, and because those of us who live here are constantly having to pick up the pieces from the last media assault, I decided to watch it.

From the very beginning, it made my blood turn to lava. Here was a production company, visiting Bradford, saying, pretty explicitly, ”˜you need our help, we will descend from That London to show you how to get along with each other'.

This is to a city that is arguably ten years ahead of the rest of the country in terms of ”˜getting along', because we took a long, hard look at ourselves in 2001 and decided that NOT getting along wasn't worth it. Tolerance is now ingrained into any true Bradfordian because we need to work together to defend ourselves from shit like this.

The word ”˜segregated' was thrown around in the voiceover frequently, with no further explanation, as though none were needed. What does ”˜segregated' mean to you, Channel 4? You haven't exactly said. And you haven't then provided any evidence that Bradford fits that description that you have failed to provide. You've launched straight into introducing us to these 8 people after having labelled the city they live in ”˜segregated', and announced you will be teaching us how not to be ”˜segregated' without providing any clear measure of what success will look like, due to aforementioned lack of description and evidence.

Instead, I suspect, having watched the first unremarkable half, that you will clap your hands with glee having shown us that if you take eight strangers and put them in close quarters for a week or two, experiencing each other's lives, that they will start off not knowing each other, then they will get to know each other, and that at the end they will know each other better than they did at the start and be able to talk about each other. Do you know how I know this? Because it's fucking Wife Swap. Except instead of people being different because one lives on a farm and the other lives in a council flat, or because one is a pole dancer and the other is a life-sized wax model of Princess Diana, this is meant to be because they're all different religions and colours and that.

Bollocks. It's because they're strangers, this is not an abnormal combination of people to be in any room at any one time in Bradford, we just don't make a big deal about it, and I'm sorry for anyone who looked at that group and thought ”˜wow, I never thought I'd see the day', because those people are probably still trying to get over the fact that gays can hold hands in public without getting arrested.

As if to prove a point, by the end of the first programme we've seen some basic differences of opinion and lifestyle, ironed out with some chat and common sense. It's almost like real life eh. Other than Damon and Audrey being pretty ignorant, everyone seemed alright - Proud And Prejudiced it was not, although I'm sure the producers will throw in some of the most ignorant Yorkshire Puddings they could find in part two just to bump up the racism quota. And they will be notably of an older generation representing views that are dying out rapidly as the city progresses via a generation to whom integration is second nature.

One thing I did wish had been explained better was Jens' ill-judged Paki-bashing ”˜joke'. I understood what he was trying to do but I wouldn't have gone there. I have one friend in particular with a similar sense of humour, and the joke is meant to be that racism is utterly ridiculous, thus mocking the very idea of it as a serious mindset. It's meant to mock the racist, but if misunderstood it has the potential to offend to the point where you have to be 100% sure that this will be understood before you can go there, and Jens misjudged it. I still think he's guilty of a misfire rather than malice, and was mortified at having caused offence.

I noticed that, other than the slightly thick Damon and the legendary Sabbiyah, there is no representation of the younger generation, which is weird because Bradford is one of the youngest cities in the country. Where are any of the laid back, intelligent younger girls and boys who are unconcerned with differences of race and religion? I know they exist because I meet them every day. Do they not make good telly or something?

So, let's have a guess at what Channel 4 meant by Bradford being segregated, and then segregate the fuck out of that suggestion.

The first and most obvious point they may be trying to make is that there are ”˜Asian areas' because families choose to live near each other. The vast majority of people in Bradford are not threatened by this concept. Maybe some people feel a bit left out, but we get it. It's the way that Britain used to be, according to everyone's grandma. Tightknit communities, everyone knowing everyone, families living close to one another, looking out for each other, that's the cultural norm for Asian families now just like it used to be for all British families back in the golden days. That's not an act of segregation, it's cultural, and circumstantial, in just the same way as some people choose to paint their living rooms purple - it's not that they're trying to tell me I'm not welcome, but I could read it that way if I wanted.

Secondly, strict Muslims don't tend to go into pubs. This rules out much shared social activity, since drinking is the nation's favourite passtime. But you know what? I don't go to shit RnB nights. Does that make me segregated from people who like Chris Brown? Sadly not.

It's also much harder to be prejudiced from close quarters. Real prejudice relies on failing to see the other person as an individual, and instead to generalise and stereotype them. How easy do you think it is to maintain that distance from people in Bradford? Think of a difficulty level, and double it. Just living in Bradford without being a hermit immediately removes that extra barrier of ignorance that prejudice requires to thrive. Wherever you work, shop, socialise or study you are forced into such regular encounters with so many different people that to even notice differences between yourself and anyone else would become an effort, so you just don't.

The Bradford riots were not caused by racial tension between two races living in the city, and I'm sick of the idea that they were. They were caused by a visiting National Front demonstration followed immediately by the kind of policing that might be expected under Chief Constable Mr Bean on crack. In response, people got a bit angry, then a bit arsony, then a bit prisonery for a few yearsy.

This has since been perceived as ”˜Bradford's thing'. But riddle me this, casual Wool City detractors, and Audrey, with your 'it's a ticking time bomb and it only needs one spark' omen: In 2010, the EDL lovingly organised what they called ”˜The Big One' which was meant to be a march in Bradford that would give our beloved and barely recovered city a nice ten-year anniversary kick-off for old times' sake. On paper, it was the perfect plan. Unfortunately for the EDL, Bradford was not segregated but united in rejecting them, and as a result the only way their demo could have been described as ”˜The Big One' is if all the other ones had been demos to kick the undesirables out of Polly Pocket. Nobody could be arsed with it, leaving the visiting EDL and the UAF to cuss each other's mums over the police's shoulders while the rest of us went ”˜pfft, what are they like', and carried on with moaning in union about the Odeon and the hole where the shopping centre was meant to be.

And then, last summer, you may remember a little blip when the whole country was smashed up and set on fire. I lost count of the number of texts I had from various smashed and burning parts of the country from people asking on what scale it was kicking off in Bradford. The answer was, of course, that it wasn't, hadn't, and didn't. If it had, that would have been ”˜because it's Bradford', rather than ”˜because it's happening everywhere', and I'm sure we'd have suffered more than any other city for it.

Because I know this would have been the case, and because it frustrates me, I'm considering getting a t-shirt that says ”˜I'm from Bradford. Time since last riot: 10 years' and wearing it every time I visit London, Manchester, Birmingham, or any of those other terrible, rioty places where I've ever been laughed at for being from Bradford. Except I won't, because I'm just so damn tolerant of those poor problem cities.

It's a shame about the voiceover being so inflammatory, because despite my rants I do think that this could otherwise be a valuable programme and could have avoided slamming the city with a more neutral or even a positive outlook on how well we're doing by accommodating so many different backgrounds and still running smoothly.

I resent the idea that this is Bradford being taught a lesson, because we're the last city that needs it, but if it helps the nation to get their shit together when it comes to race and religion then great. I'm not going to worry about segregation being a problem in a place with a long history of immigration, political awareness, grassroots arts and progressive social justice, where you can run into people from five different countries before breakfast without even thinking about it.

We're not perfect, nor will we ever be, but we're ahead, not behind, thanks to the new generation pushing through. We don't need an intervention, we need this to be a non-issue because that's what progress is. Our biggest problem as a city, in reality, is our council, and no matter who you speak to and what their background may be, people in Bradford will generally agree on that.

What Make Bradford British does confirm is that ignorance is not bliss, but fear. I never feel afraid of other cultures in Bradford because I'm so incredibly nosy, and fear disappears with insight. I've met some wonderful people and continue to do so, just by talking shit to them, and you can't tell by looking at someone whether they have a similar sense of humour to you or what they might have been through. I was once horrendously late for an appointment because the taxi driver I was talking to was telling me a brilliant story about how he used to be in the RAF, had been taken under the Cartwright family's wing as a child, and how Jesus Man had taught him English as a kid when he first moved to Bradford. We could have done the journey in silence assuming we had nothing to say to each other.

I remember once falling out of the pub, slightly pissed, with my friend Mike, and noticing that the building next door had twinkly lights all over it. We wandered over like zombie moths and before we knew it we were being invited inside by a couple of young Asian guys. It turned out to be some sort of Muslim spiritual centre and we were fed lemonade and had a chat with a very important-looking man who was sat in a big armchair with some Milk Tray. We talked about our religions and lack of religions, amongst other things, and we were invited back whenever. The point is, again, we could have kept our distance, but we didn't. Although this time, granted, it was more the booze than open-mindedness that intervened to help.

And that seems to be the conclusion that Make Bradford British, despite its horrible title and damning judgments of Bradford, is coming to. Just have a chat, because until you do, you don't know people. Scientists were amazed.

And now, a nice story to end on. A friend was once chatting to a young Pakistani guy who began describing a group of people he'd just had a run-in with: “They were Paki lads... I mean, I know technically I'm a Paki lad, but I like to think of myself more as an optometrist.”

Over and out.

Neighbourhood Noise, a music documentary including Bradford artists' views on Bradford's image at the hands of irresponsible commentators:

Bradford certainly suffers from awful stereotypes, led by its constant name-dropping by people like Nick Griffin, which really fucks me off, whenever he says 'just go over to Bradford, ask the people there'. We are the people of Bradford, and I think we'd all tell him to go fuck himself - Pete Williams, Alt Track

More quality Bradford opinion on Make Bradford British

56 thoughts on “Make Bradford Angry

  1. dom

    Spot on. It is cheap entertainment labelled as a social experiment. Love your comment : “Do you know how I know this? Because it\’s fucking Wife Swap.” Bang on.

  2. Leif

    “Tolerance is now ingrained into any true Bradfordian because we need to work together to defend ourselves from shit like this.”

    Kate, in this very line you give the whole game away. Tolerance is NOT the same thing as acceptance and true integration. The very word itself implies,”putting up with something”.
    I have visited Bradford on occasion to work with young people and having visited a fair few other cities in the UK, I found the cultural divide deeply unsettling. Your article seems to only underline a very British affliction of denial and avoidance behavior when it comes to honest examination of the true roots of social problems and conflicts.
    Any Northern chip you have on your shoulder about a production team coming from “that London” is yours to own and does nothing to distract from the very real point that Bradford and large areas of Northern England are horribly, shamefully segregated.

    • Kate

      Hi Leif, thanks for your comment. I just want to pick up on the word ‘tolerance’. I think it’s a bridge too far to use the word ‘harmony’ or ‘unity’ because that is like putting our heads in the sand as that’s not universally the case and I’m sure the program is going to go on to provide the worst examples it can of the kind of people for whom ‘tolerance’ is the best they can do. But tolerance is a balanced and realistic, I hoped, word to use to average out the range of attitudes of people in the city on the whole who just don’t care where people are from. I know that as much as I want to say ‘unity’ I will get panned for that more. Bradford is, I think, at its worst tolerant, and at its best unified, so I say tolerant to cover myself.

    • “The word \’segregated\’ was thrown around [...] with no further explanation, as though none were needed. What does \’segregated\’ mean to you…? You haven\’t exactly said. And you haven\’t then provided any evidence that Bradford fits that description that you have failed to provide.”

    • Iain

      I have visited ‘That London’ on occasions and worked with young people and I have visited a fair few other british cities (and ‘That Abroad’) doing the very same. I, personally, find Islington fairly unsettling due to the massive ‘cultural/financial/opportunity’ divide with other parts of the city. However, I appreciate that a fleeting visit or two doesn’t really allow me to understand the actualities, just pick up a wee bit of the static in the air. I understand that that can only be a reflection of me.

    • Jon Eland

      I get a little fed up of (usually) Londoners claiming they’re integrated. Yes, there are some chunks of middle-class London where those of mixed heritage have entirely assimilated and, seemingly, always get on with each other (or do the ‘stiff upper lip’ thing).

      But there are huge segments of the capital with the same types of problems that cities elsewhere have. But, because, in a city of so many people, the less affluent areas tend to have less of a voice or are have spokespeople that suggest greater harmony than exists (often for political benefit).

      People in this country are, more than ever before, struggling to understand how to live their lives, what part they play in the make up of the country and what ‘Britishness’ means.

      I see some people who struggle with this better than others, some who ignore the problems and just keep on going and those who constructively get on with trying to resolve these concerns.

      And, people in Bradford (and Leeds, where I’m from) seem to do this about as well, if not better, than people elsewhere.

  3. Tom Ross

    Come on. How seriously can you take the view of a man called Leif?

    I mean, seriously….

    • Paul

      And to what have we become when we sink down to picking on someone’s name to rubbish a reasonable point?

    • Ben

      Not very helpful, Tom.

  4. Alan

    Kate,i moved to Bradford 20 years ago from Coventry.When i got here the levels of racist chat i heard chilled me to the bone.After coming from a truely racially integrated city like Coventry to this came as a big shock to me.Racism in Bradford is ingrained in the cities psyche,and unfortunetly it will take more than people like myself teaching my kids that “paki” is not a nice word and trying to teach them that different cultures can be learned from.I don,t know how you solve it,but integration in the schools would be a good start.

  5. Chris

    Excellent piece. I agree with you 100%. I have grown up in Bradford and lived in it’s neighbourhoods. I suggest people who ‘visit’ and come to the quick conclusion that the city is segregated, spend more than a couple of weeks here. The only chips we have on our shoulders are a result of everyone in this country telling us how we should and shouldn’t live within a diverse multicultural city. As you pointed out, the ‘golden years’ where people lived close to each other, what is wrong with this? It’s what people want and it is accepted as normal in Bradford. We all come together on a daily basis in the bustling city centre and chat, help each other out and live side by side. I love this city and will most probably never leave it ever!

  6. zara

    As a muslim, it was really awkward watching other fellow muslims criticising each other over religion in front of non muslims! the asain lady, sabbiyah evidently didnt have a clue about her religion but critised him just to get the nations attention! it was all one big act for her, she did the programme for fame and thought she would become shilpa shetty if she faked tears! Shes brought so much shame to her extended family in the past few years and humiliated us further by goin on national television! shes a drama queen and should not have been allowed to belittle all muslims!

    • For me, most arguments about religion smack of the “big-end/little-end” war of boiled eggs in Gulliver’s Travels; but in the context, I thought it was good to see debate about Islam on national TV – that people do have different opinions and can argue about them and be okay with it. It sounds like you have a personal grudge.

    • Robin Brunskill

      Zara…as a christian, its similarly painful for me when people describe Sarah Palin and the “religious right” as christian…. the impulse to argue back is there.
      But it doesn’t get us anywhere. However,I read your point with a rueful smile of recognition.

  7. Ants

    I can understand some Bradfordians having an interest in the PR image of the city. I can imagine some others want to live in a bubble where everything’s lovely and tolerant. But I agree with some of the posters already here.

    As an outsider moving here a few years ago (I grew up in Brum, then lived in ‘that London’) the whole thing rung true to me. I can remember getting here and losing count of the amount of times I heard racist talk, or was tested out by strangers I’d talk to to see if I would join them in racist banter. It felt like a duo-cultural city, with whole swathes of the population separated by mistrust and hatred from other sections of the population.

    When I lived in Brum there was plenty of racism from white people, but the place has become much more mixed because there were plenty of ‘middle class’ asians (many more sikhs and hindus there) who moved into the outer city areas and the places really got mixed up. Bradford has remained much more ghettoised, and these things have a lot to do with the soco-economic background of the particular immigrant communities (which as you prob know in Bfd is predominantly from one small area in Kashmir).

    The fact is, it seems to me, is that Bradford is noticably divided in terms of race/culture in a way that just isn’t as noticable with other cities, because of the size of it’s immigrant population and that it’s predominantly Mirpur Kashmiri, almost to the exclusion of other sub-continent immigrant groups.

  8. Shuheb

    This is an excellent post. As a muslim from Bradford, born and raised, I think people can get on we have been for many years. Its just the programmes like this creates a fire from a small spark which gives the confidence to prejudice people to behave the way they are.

    I am BRITISH, always will be, the colour of my skin, my religion or my ethnicity will not ever factor in that.

    I am proud to be MUSLIM. I am also proud to be BRITISH.

    BTW: Not ALL muslims are terrorists and not ALL terrorists are MUSLIMS. We have terrorists from all over the world. George Bush, in my eye is a terrorist for for conspiring to kill over 3000+ people in 9/11 for a insurance racket!

    (Just wanted to get that out there)

  9. Shuaibski

    Excellent, very well written. We need more peeps like you mate.

  10. Sarah

    Interesting blog Kate you raise some valid points, of which many I agree with. I do think Channel 4 are lazy in their programming and Bradford is an easy target. That said, like many mixed religion, race and cultural places there is still a lot of racism, segregation and work to do!

    Having grew up in Essex (probably one of the racist places on earth but that’s another story) spent most of my formative years in London (a lot of it in the very diverse Brixton) and now in Leeds I have to say that I was shocked at the amount of racism that still goes on in Bradford. Having worked in the lovely bubble of the university of course it was rare to hear that kind of shit go on but I only had to step out the university doors to hear it.

    I agree the majority of people living in Bradford do get along and tolerate each other but to say this happens across the board does nothing to help the percentage of the Bradford population that still don’t get on or understand each other.

  11. Kate

    I’d like to try and separate testosterone from prejudice if possible. There will always be angry, bored, dim young men who will abuse anyone and anything that crosses their path for any reason at all at a certain time of life. Unfortunately this is the nature of angry, bored, dim young men – of any race – and not indicative of the inherent prejudice of a city’s population. As the hippy said: “If you’re a dickhead, you’re a dickhead”. I’m sorry for anyone who has ever encountered that.

    • LordPaul

      I think that unfortunately that Bradford does seem to have a higher proportion of these ‘angry young men’ than many other places, especially in the inner-city areas and the ‘tolerance’ (to use your choice of phrase) seems to include tolerance of this antisocial behaviour which can manifest/be seen as inherant racism or acceptance of such.

      The problem with the programme as I understand it (having not actually seen it, but read a bit so forgive me if I’m slightly off-whack) is that it didn’t differentiate between Bradford CITY & the Bradford DISTRICT (making such statements that Haworth is one of the whitest towns in England – relevant to the debate how?) and where I (& other reasonable people) come from we might not see some of the issues that the people in some of the ‘problem areas’ have to contend with.

      It’s quite hard coming from (near) Bradford to see my home being rubbished for the same old reasons & I am confident that a high percentage of people in the district do EMBRACE multiculturalism but things are different in Bradford than other cities & I believe we do need to address this. The problem is it’s the vocal & in some cases violent/scary minority (from various sections) who both cause the fear & ill-will & give people with an agenda (from TV companies who want an easy target, to the T&A which likes to show how ANGRY we are, to us lefty middle-class types who want to think everything is perfect) the ammunition to produce such shows & provoke such a reaction.

      I will likely comment further when I watch the show.

      • Charlotte

        Sure Bradford has a higher proportion of angry young men. I’d argue that the biggest factors there are poverty, deprivation, social exclusion and maybe also drugs.

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  13. Monty

    Instead of commenting on the issues raised (because so many people have already, and so eloquently) I’d simply like to praise the quality of your writing. Important issues, written about intelligently and with some skill should always get a thumbs up!

    And so many replies! It seems we do care after all.

    (P.S. bollocks to the EDL.)

    • Robin Brunskill

      I agree Monty – very good writing!

  14. Ants

    I think Bradford’s an ‘easy target’ because it’s more or less duocultural and quite segregated and it’s quite big. It’s more like a big version of Burnley or Blackburn than a smaller version of London or Birmingham.

    • Ben

      Agreed

  15. Aidan

    For me the most laughable thing about this documentary was how it completely ignored numerous ethnicities, where were the Sikhs, Hindus, Eastern Europeans?

    Because they’re not typically vilified, are they not needed to be part of the bridge building the programme-makers seem to think we need?

    There is so much more to this city than simply whites and muslims, but you wouldn’t think it. Are the temples and Polish churches my imagination? In preaching multiculturalism, the makers of this documentary have seen fit to ignore many, really strange.

    • Ants

      Show us a street in Bradford that’s predominantly Polish, or predominantly Hindu, like you could with Mirpur Kashmiris. Bradford’s immigrants communities are mostly of one origin and there’s no point denying it

      • LordPaul

        “Bradford\’s immigrants communities are mostly of one origin and there\’s no point denying it”

        No they’re not, therefore yes there is, and way to miss a point.

  16. Ben

    Look, I understand the sentiment of your article, but you need to face facts. Not everybody in Bradford has had the same integrative experiences as you have. The city appears to be very divided along cultural/religious lines, and there is little ‘real’ integration.

    Put simply, one of the real litmus tests for integration is the extent to which different cultures are willing to live amongst one another. What we are seeing is self-imposed segregation, caused by a deeply rooted disparity in self-identity between the two communities.

    I have lived on a street where I was the only white English person, with 95% being Pakistani British. Although a couple of families were very welcoming, for which I am very grateful, and made some friends there, the general sentiment among the youth was that of “outsider”. This made living there hard, eventually after intimidation, harassment, threats etc., I didn’t feel welcome. Things like this cause “white flight”, they also cause “non-white flight” (for want of a better word) in areas where the white community is being prejudiced.

    I understand your point on “tight-knit communities”, but unfortunately the inevitable outcome of them is a sense of “us” and “them”. Another litmus test for integration is that of inter-marriage. I have never heard of, or seen, a young white British non-Muslim male going out with a Muslim girl in Bradford. Excuse me if you have, but I have been told by my muslim friends that it is not allowed. This is a massive barrier to integration. It precludes an organic link, or impasse being formed between the muslim/non-muslim community, and ensures the “tight-knit” family areas remain non-muslim. This is similar to how continued immigration, and importation of wives from abroad, further delays integration, and does not give the host country (Britain) a chance to mix properly with these communities.

    Programmes like this recent one by Channel 4, although I agree is lacking in its description of “segregation”, need to be made. It is rather nauseating in its “Wife-swap” structuring, and I am not sure whether it will achieved anything lasting, but, if it allows at least some people, from whatever community, to put up a mirror to themselves and realise that we need to try harder as a country to be more united, then I think it is worth it.

  17. My great grandmother used to live in sheltered housing in a ‘segregated’ area of Bradford in the ’80s and the locals couldn’t have been nicer to her and the other old folks. There was never any air of menace when I used to stay with her; in fact, the only bad thing I remember about going to Bradford was having to watch her bloody Police Academy films.

  18. Roberts

    Unfortunately, racism and prejudice exist, and I think any attempt to highlight and eliminate them are to be applauded. I understand, and I think if the show had been called ‘Make London British’ I would have looked pretty quizzical too – in my day to day life living there, racism does not exist because I obviously actively avoid any racist element within my community because I deplore it, but despite my lack of experience of it, I cannot deny its existence. Therefore, I think I would be happy for the name of my town/city/community to take a hit for the greater good. As discussed on the program, sometimes you have to take one for the team. Use examples of racism from London, Southampton, Bradford, Machester, Glasgow, wherever you like as far as I’m concerned. Racism has to be eliminated forever. Do whatever it takes. You rightly say that ignorance is fear, and people need to be illuminated to be rid of it. Even if this show illuminates just 1 person out of racially motivated stupidity, it has been worth it and Bradford will have done that one person a service of huge importance.

    • Ben

      I agree with much of your comment but, living in Bradford, the division is not actually based on race.

  19. Robin Brunskill

    That is one of the most interesting, vivid and intelligent articles that I’ve read on the net. Thanks Kate.
    I also agree with your point about Testosterone and the bored angry young men of all racial backgrounds venting their anger.
    It reminded me of arriving to live in South East London when I was 18, 1982. The walk to Goldsmiths amid piles of rubble from the burnt out buildings of the riots, the outrage of the New Cross bomb in 81. When I left that area in 1994, things had completely changed between the black and white community. For the better.
    I think people are dazed by the rapidity of the changes .. I think it takes ten years for people to settle down with each other, get used to each other’s difference and find common ground.
    I’m not sure if Kate makes that point in her article, but I think she makes a similar one. That time passes and people settle.
    But we need the unifying identity of “being British” to move us all forward and from Kate’s article, I get the idea that the TV programme didn’t help with that.

  20. Robin Brunskill

    The infrastructure of the UK can’t take in any more people. We don’t have the room, the jobs, the water etc.
    Say that to a fellow left leaning liberal and he will scream “RACIST” at you…and search you for the EDL membership card. And generally get hysterical.

    Racism is the subjucation of one race by another.
    Racism is not pointing out that we are overcrowded and that tolerance is made more difficult when faced with the fight to survive, particularly when it comes to social housing.

    The Jemima’s and Tarquins will never make a documentary about why this accusatory hysteria exists, because the truth is that serves as a smokescreen to hide some issues that we don’t want to face. Problems between the various religious groups that we don’t want to know about. Much better therefore, to use the accustation “RACIST” the way that the seventeenth century zealots used the word “WITCHES”…

  21. hmmn

    Whether you have an EDL card or not..
    just to correct you..
    Racism is the belief in and propagation of the idea that we humans are divided into races which we are not. Claiming to be part of one race or another is to entertain racism and invite it into your life. Basically keep it to yourself eh.
    Note that the UK has plenty of capacity. The population of the UK stood shoulder to shoulder could fit onto the Isle of Wight – yes all of us. So ask yourself if Lord HawHawHaw and his 1% needs to keep half the country for his galavanting. If we worked together, lived together, accepted, learnt and continued to profit from each other the country would be a much better place instead of looking for problems or hiding behind inflammatory lies about immigration vs resources in a RICH country (& don’t give me recession – Robin Hood Tax – job & justice done).
    Also while I’m here witches were 17thC women who were persecuted as opposed to people attempting to justify their bigotry which is how you come across Robin.

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  23. Andrew

    Poor article. Muslims have invited many Imam and Islamic scholar to the City of Bradford for the purpose of spreading their prejudice filth with no objection in sight. Did we riot?
    If you need evidence of my claim feel free to ask.

    Point being, Bradford needs to accept that a problem with Pakistani people, (and nobody else) exists. And Islam lies at the heart of this issue.

  24. Bradford as we all know has had somewhat of a colourful past at times & some of the comments here regarding the Channel Four two parter I feel it will continue to. The local media has to take some responsible as well as the people of Bradford, its council & also the police. As an outsider looking in occasionally – the likes of the Bradford T&A have for far too long painted a pretty picture of the city & conveniently turned away from certain of the city’s social problems when clearly in parts it is not, a kind of fictitious multicultural utopia, but I will put that down to poor & lack of bottle journalism.
    The Big Brother type scenario did not work for me, because a lot of what was filmed will be on the cutting room floor & people do actually warm & play to the camera as well as the cross section of Bradford people involved in the documentary was incomplete…I hope if anything it opens up sensible debate where there is division. All BradfordiaBradford as we all know has had somewhat of a colourful past at times & some of the comments here regarding the Channel Four two parter I feel it will continue to. The T&A has to take some responsible as well as the people of Bradford, its council & also the police. As an outsider looking in occasionally – the likes of the T&A have for far too long painted a pretty picture of the city & conveniently turned away from certain of the city’s social problems when clearly in parts it is not, a kind of fictitious multicultural utopia, but I will put that down to poor & lack of bottle journalism. The Big Brother type scenario did not work for me, because a lot of what was filmed will be on the cutting room floor & people do actually warm & play to the camera as well as the cross section of Bradford people involved in the documentary was incomplete…I hope if anything it opens up sensible debate where there is division. You BradfordiaBradford as we all know has had somewhat of a colourful past at times & some of the comments here regarding the Channel Four two parter I feel it will continue to. The T&A has to take some responsible as well as the people of Bradford, its council & also the police. As an outsider looking in occasionally – the likes of the T&A have for far too long painted a pretty picture of the city & conveniently turned away from certain of the city’s social problems when clearly in parts it is not, a kind of fictitious multicultural utopia, but I will put that down to poor & lack of bottle journalism. The Big Brother type scenario did not work for me, because a lot of what was filmed will be on the cutting room floor & people do actually warm & play to the camera as well as the cross section of Bradford people involved in the documentary was incomplete…I hope if anything it opens up sensible debate where there is division.
    You Bradfordians can all point fingers, that may be the problem – when a look in the mirror may be more appropriate.

  25. Pingback: Make Bradford British - Page 2

  26. heather

    I think that maybe some people should exit their ivory towers and stop pretending that Bradford does not have a problem. This has to be one of the most segregated cities I have ever worked in. It is VOLUNTARILY segregated. I live in a city fairly close to Bradford and have never encountered such a degree of racism as I did in Bradford. I worked within the community all over Britain for many years and was never threatened or uncomfortable by racism. Then I was posted to Bradford, the attitude of the muslims there to a woman working in the community were disgusting. I was called ‘dirty white c**t’ and many worse things just walking through the community. One encounter in particular made me change my careeer. I was working with a muslim family, tutoring their son. They appeared very friendly and accommodating when I visited their home. After working with the six year old for a few months the child told me his father has informed him that I would go to hell for being a christian. Thank you. I am not actually a christian, preconceptions of the family assumed that, because I was white, I was automatically christian and therefore damned.
    Bradford IS different to other cities and the sooner this is acknowledged (in a serious way, not a reality tv show) the better.

  27. Andrew

    Pakistani’s do not wish to integrate. They suffer from problems beyond our control – though we are the receivers of their frustration. Wishing to work and live in a City is not the same as wishing to integrate.

    People forget, The Iranian Fatwa on Rushdie’s head started in Bradford in the 80s.
    An issue for the death penalty, placed upon a man for the crime of writing literature.

    Pakistani’s in this City demanded all local book stores remove the novel from their shelves, a deliberate attempt to inform us, the Kaffir, what we can and cannot read. Since that day things have gone from bad to worse.

  28. Pingback: Bradford Links « Alternate Seat of TYR

  29. Jo Dennis

    *bows down to you*
    I’m from Bradford and I saw the advertisment for ‘Make Bradford British’ on the TV and choked on my curry. It sounded stupid to me.
    My family are ‘British’ and we talk to all cultures in our area fine. I’m Cristian, and my church works with Muslims in the area happily. My sister’s 13 and all her closest friends are forgein.
    Sure, Bradford has loadsa cultures in it. But is it a problem?… NO. *facepalm* I hate it when people say we have a problem… because we simple don’t.

  30. Matt Thompson

    We appear tolerant but ask anyone to really speak their mind about multiculti and you will be shocked.

    ‘Tolerance’ means being forced to put up with something you dont like. We never asked for mass immigration so why should we sit back and take what has been imposed upon us?

  31. Faye Lynch

    Oh when will people learn? I hear opinions from people making claims about how the colour of their skin or their beliefs does not make them different when in fact, this is not the problem. I travel a lot, I love it. The reason for this is because I experience a new culture; I go to Italy and I am surrounded by (mainly) naturally tanned people with dark features. Their culture, ways of life and architecture surrounds you. Likewise, you go to Spain and experience the same thing (staying away from tourist attractions). I go abroad again – France,, Belgium Switzerland, Holland, China….You ALWAYS feel like you are in the country you live in. However, if you travel North of England in many areas, as I have lived in greater Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire and other Northern counties, you do not see traditional ‘British-ness’ or culture as seen in other countries. You see mosques upon mosques and streets filled with Muslims wearing unusual clothing. You hear of stories (including Muslim friends of mine) about how girls cannot do this or that or was forced to act in this way. I applaud those brave Muslim women who stand up for equal rights however, there is a change in large parts of Britain that seem to swallow our culture. There is constant fuss and fear about hanging the British flag from your window because the football is playing. Our children are taught “moo jessie cow have you any milk?” or “baa baa multicolored sheep have you any wool?”. My daughter corrected me the other week as I called a ‘chalk board’ a ‘black board’ and a ‘white board’ is now a ‘wipe board’.

    I believe it is this that us ‘white’ have a problem and keep ourselves away from Muslim communities. We are tired of being told that we must be careful of what we say and do. We are tired, that our streets are continuously changing and, oh look- Another mosque has been built! Why has being British become such a bad thing where you can only show a certain amount of emotion towards your culture? Why can’t my children learn the nursery rhymes that I learn as a child and hang my flag to support my country. I am in no way a fan of America however, they are so proud to be American that talk against their flag is one of the worst things you could do!

    As I say, I have Muslim friends and am by no mean racist. I do not care if they go to mosque or dress in strange looking clothes. But I have noticed, other cultures do similar things; Jews wear strange clothing and have a belief but I don’t seem to be annoyed at them. I live in a large Afro-carribean area at the moment and see black people wearing strange clothing also – still no irritation. Chinese, Catholics, Christians, Jamaicans …They all blend in and ACCEPT our British laws and culture and don’t want to keep changing things. Why is it, that when my brother was asked to describe his attacker that he had to say Asian? The police automatically started looking for someone from Pakistan or Iran ect…the attacker was may not have come from these countries – Asia is a CONTINENT! Why has it become a forbidden word to say where Muslims come from? When describing an attacker to the police from say France, do we say European? No, as this DOES no describe the attacker in one way at all…AGAIN, another thing us ‘whites’ fear we may slip up on.

    So we might assume they’re from Pakistan or Iran as we mainly hear about these counties on the T.V…. but assume a Spanish person is Italian because how they look – do they get offended and start claiming racism? No they do not. This is why we are frustrated and do not mix.

  32. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

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