Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tolerance as opposed to Political Correctness

Along the island chain that forms the rim of the Caribbean Sea, where the Leeward Isles meet the Windwards, lies the island of Dominica. At its northern end the small town of Portsmouth gives a clue to its naval past and normally safe and tranquil harbour. Inland is one of the few remaining, and I believe the largest reservations of earlier inhabitants of this region, the Carib Indians. I have embedded a video tour of Portsmouth at the end of this post for anyone interested in the town.

On market days the main street is lined with stalls selling all manner of tropical fruits and other produce of this very unspoilt and little visited island. The magistrates court is held on market day. Much of the crime is connected with petty theft and the production of illicit liquor. The people are poor as evidenced during my visits by the open drains either side of many of the roads. Punishment therefore takes the form of police beatings, the sounds of which cannot be missed by the throngs of shoppers and stall holders. When I visited the island, the country had a female Prime Minister, who was considered the Thatcher or Iron Lady of the Caribbean. The death penalty remained the ultimate legal deterrent, which could then still be appealed to the Privy Council in London. This then was the case in many of the former British Colonial West Indies.

In forming a personal view of their judicial situation, a first-hand knowledge of the circumstances of the people and the local economy are in my view essentials. Closed minded and untraveled liberals across Europe are not equipped and have consistently failed to offer viable alternatives. When material prosperity arrives in Portsmouth, magistrates' fines could then be imposed and lengthy custodial sentences afforded. Until then reality requires other remedies.

When we welcome people from the Caribbean to live in our own country they accept our alternative system of justice. We in turn in a spirit of true tolerance accept that they begin at a different starting point from ourselves with regard to customs of intimate and family relationships. Society seems to have no difficulty in that respect in so far as Islam is concerned.

UKIP's candidate in this week's North Croydon by-election, Winston Mackenzie, who is of Jamaican origin, yesterday came in for some criticism on Twitter for remarks he made in response to replies he gave regarding his views (perhaps I should say feelings) to society's attitudes and treatment of the  gay community. I do not know what he actually said, nor do I choose to defend it. Some of the reactions I read seemed to indicate a lack of understanding of how his views may have been based and how they were formed. A tolerant, as opposed to a politically correct society, would understand that and weigh those facts against the other qualities Winston Mackenzie may, or may not offer them as a candidate.


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