Thursday, 23 June 2011

Uppal Cameron's Colon: the full horror

I remarked yesterday that Paul Uppal MP is inconsistent, at best, in claiming that nationality is more important than religious identity, then boasting about swanning off to schmooze with the Sikh Council.

Here's the full nonsense of his exchange at PMQs:

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister demonstrated his strength of character in talking about multiculturalism. In view of the fact that I have a Christian first name and a Sikh surname, I try to combine the best of my traditional Indian values with my core British values. Does he agree that we can learn a lot from our Indian partners in this respect, many of whom define themselves by their nationality first and foremost, regardless of their ethnic or religious background?
David Cameron:
I pay tribute to my hon. Friend and his work on this issue. It is vital that, as a country, we build a stronger national identity. Of course people can have all sorts of religious and cultural identities, but it is very important that we build a strong British identity. He is living proof of that.

What Cameron actually said was that Multiculturalism is dead, because he's only bright enough to know that lots of racists vote Tory (and what the hell does Cameron mean by Uppal's 'work'?.

Uppal's incredible though. Wow, he has a Christian first name? Not really. No. Apart from names having no bearing on the debate (did he choose his own name?), 'Paul' isn't Christian. There aren't any Christian names other than those brilliant Puritans who gave their kids entire Biblical quotations as first names. Even Jesus is a European corruption of a Jewish name.

Most amusingly, Paul is a derivative of the Latin familial name Paulus, and it means 'small' or 'humble' (which is why Saul chose it to mark his conversion to Christianity) - not terms generally associated with this Honourable Member!

I wonder what Uppal defines as his 'Indian' and 'British' values? They're completely meaningless. Hegemonic cultures always insist that they have some moral superiority, often while behaving appallingly: a quick canter through British imperial history should be enough to counter the 'fair play' claims. Given that both India and Britain are artificial states constructed from a patchwork of linguistic and cultural groups, the idea that these entities can have any shared 'values' is laughable. Though I can't help admiring Uppal for enlisting the unwitting support of more than a billion people in his endless quest for cheap publicity.

(And while we're on the subject of nominative determinism, my names translate from Irish as Fiery Raven. Make of that what you will…)


Ewarwoowar said...

This has annoyed me, a lot.

PMQs is the one chance us non-political folk get to watch the Prime Minister answer important questions on the big issues of the day. Cuts, strikes, Libya, Afghanistan etc etc, and then along comes Uppal with this load of waffle which is of absolutely no interest to anyone, except himself.

I can't help thinking that our boy Paul just wanted to get on TV, get a bit of exposure. Shame on him.

Ewarwoowar said...

And whilst I'm here, does Uppal not represent his constituents or something? If he doesn't feel the need to ask D-Cam something about a national issue, fine, but how about something that can make his constituents watch the TV and think "Yes, this guy hears us, he understands the issues we're facing currently".

I do not live in Wolverhampton, but I'll take a wild guess that there are local issues far more important than his bizarre nonsense.

Tim said...

Great blog; brilliant observation.