There was a young Israeli from Neasden...

'The Duke of Edinburgh would get hugely annoyed when called "Phil the Greek" because he was Danish'
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The Independent Online

What can we do about racism, sexism, nationalism and all the other forms of bias? Well, we can talk about them at least, instead of brushing them under the carpet. So I am turning this space over to Wensley Dale, Professor of Applied Prejudice at the University of Milton Keynes, to let you bring your worries into the open.

What can we do about racism, sexism, nationalism and all the other forms of bias? Well, we can talk about them at least, instead of brushing them under the carpet. So I am turning this space over to Wensley Dale, Professor of Applied Prejudice at the University of Milton Keynes, to let you bring your worries into the open.

Dear Dr Dale: How far can one go in criticising the Israelis? Dr Dale writes: As far as you like. There is no chance they will pay any attention.

Dear Dr Dale: No, I didn't quite mean that. I meant that it seems to me that the Israelis have always leant on the memory of the treatment of Jews by Germany in the last war to justify their rebirth as a nation, so it is ironic that for the last few years they have been acting like Nazis towards their Arab inhabitants. But how openly is one allowed to say this and call the Israelis fascists without looking prejudiced? Dr Dale writes: As openly as you like. There's no chance they'll pay attention.

Dear Dr Dale: I still don't think you catch my drift. What I want to know is, how possible is it to be anti-Israeli without actually being anti-Semitic?

Dr Dale writes: In the eyes of the Jewish lobby, not at all. If you criticise Israel, the all-seeing, all-hearing Jewish lobby will be down on you like a ton of bricks. That is why I am not commenting on your queries.

Dear Dr Dale: Isn't that a bit cowardly? Dr Dale writes: No. It's very cowardly. But not until you have been deluged with complaints by the Jewish lobby do you know what it is like to be deluged with complaints by the Jewish lobby.

Dear Dr Dale: Are you being anti-Semitic in criticising the Jewish lobby? Dr Dale writes: Oh, Lord, I never thought of that. Can we speedily move on to some other form of prejudice?

Dear Dr Dale: I don't think enough attention has been paid over the years to place-prejudice. Sometimes people are aganst you simply because you come from a certain place.

Dr Dale writes: Like Wales, you mean? Dear Dr Dale: No, I can see the point of that. But some towns, for no special reason, become joke towns. Aberdeen in the old days was a bit of a joke town. It isn't any longer. Scunthorpe. more recently, was a joke town. Now, it is my misfortune that I grew up in Scunthorpe and then, just when it was ceasing to be a joke town, I moved to Grantham exactly when Mrs Thatcher's origins were being laughed about. Then I went to Neasden in London at a time when 'Private Eye' was turning it into a joke place. What can one do about this irrational prejudice?

Dr Dale writes: You can thank your lucky stars you don't live where I live. In Milton Keynes. Next prejudice. Dear Dr Dale: People still make prejudiced jokes about the Germans, and I am not just thinking about Alan Coren on 'The News Quiz' going on about the hun and the boche, good fun though it is. The most puzzling aspect of this is the insistence that the royal family is German, and all those jokes about their German origins. But surely they are no more German than any other family with immigrant origins, are they? Does the Queen speak German, for instance? Dr Dale writes: By comparison with other dynasties, this one is pretty English. The Tudors were Welsh, the Stuarts were Scottish, the Hanoverians were, well, Hanoverian. The Duke of Edinburgh, by the way, would get hugely annoyed when people called him "Phil the Greek".

Dear Dr Dale: Why? Dr Dale writes: Because he is not Greek at all, but Danish. The only obviously German member of the royal family was Lord Mountbatten, who managed to sink more British shipping in the war than any German.

Dear Dr Dale: Is that a joke? Dr Dale writes: I expect so. Next.

Dear Dr Dale: The only prejudice you have so far uttered yourself is against Lord Mountbatten, a dead person. You seem to have no opinion on anyone living. Why is this? Dr Dale writes: Because prejudice is my field of study and if I have learnt one thing, it is that Alexei Sayle was right.

Dear Dr Dale: When was he right? Dr Dale writes: When he said: "I'm convinced that one day a stand-up comedian should stand up and take the piss out of Islamic fundamentalism. And I'm also convinced it shouldn't be be me..."

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