Posts Tagged ‘Alan Howe’

Alan Howe

Posted: May 31, 2010 in Hall Of The Lame, Media Watch
Tags: ,

Alan Howe has written another couple of illuminating articles in today’s Herald Sun. Of course in these articles Alan did what he does best, in spreading Islamaphobia to the ignorant that make up part of the Herald Sun’s readership. Today he decided to pick on Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, because of comments that he made twenty-one years ago saying that Salman Rushdie should be killed for writing the Satanic Verses. Sigh! Perhaps someone should tell Alan that people can change their opinions after two decades, although I’m sure that back in the 80s and 90s Howe was writing nonsensical anti-Islamic drivel (just as I’m sure he will be still writing such crap in another 20 years time!).

The big problem that I have with Howe’s articles is that he often resorts to personal attacks instead of dissecting what they have said. This is just poor, lazy journalism and shows just what a hack Howe really is. Just look at some of the arguments he offered in today’s paper.

That didn’t work. Later he became Cat Stevens and issued a couple of over-produced minor hits – Matthew & Son and I Love My Dog. Others used his songs to much better effect: P. P. Arnold made her name with The First Cut Is The Deepest, while the Tremeloes made the top 10 with Here Comes My Baby.

Umm… I don’t get the point. Alan is writing an article about Cat’s comments about Rushdie but instead turns it into a comment about his music. Of course Alan is a paragon of musical taste as I can remember when he used to host a show on 3AW playing mouldy relics that would help ward off insomnia.

I hope he kept himself nice; a Muslim chap can pay quite a price, perhaps 40 lashes, for pre-marital sex (80, I suppose, if he weakened both times) or worse. Forget TB, Cat, this is getting serious. Mind you, your girlfriends could well have been stoned to death had they been in some Islamic countries.

Of course Howe isn’t anti-Muslim, as he has said in the past some of his best friends are Muslim. (Gotta love the fact that he defends himself by using such an old cliché!) Of course Alan doesn’t mention that Cat had all that pre-marital sex before his conversion to Islam, so those stupid sarcastic remarks that he made mean nothing.

Islam, a yet-to-mature religion whose popular face is too often that of scornful, black-hearted suicide bombers, has a long way to go.

WTF has this got to do with Yusuf’s ancient comments about Rushdie? I wonder what Howe’s Muslim friends (lol) think about this?

Cat Stevens could have used his conversion to Islam for so much good, and I suspect he is an ignorant, rather than bad man.

Pot/kettle/black.
While Howe tries very hard to make some sort of sense in his main article he is let down with his other two columns from the paper where for some reason he tells us that someone suggested that Cat record Sam Cook’s hit Another Saturday Night (because Cat Stevens is the only artist to ever cover someone elses song!) and worse still, he devoted 250 words to telling us that he sent a photo of Salman Rushdie and his son to Yusuf to… I dunno… I guess he just wants to let us know that he is stirring shit. Next he will tell us of how he has sent a photo of Smokin’ Joe Frazier to Muhammad Ali and a Celtics singlet signed by Larry Bird to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Perhaps the readers of the Herald Sun can help Howe further in his Muslim baiting by making suggestions of what other Muslim celebrities he can harangue, although it would be quite pointless, much like Howe himself.

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Australia has taken a lot of curry from India over the issue of racism lately. It seems that not a day goes by without hearing in the news of an Indian student living in Melbourne being bashed and beaten. Just a couple of weeks ago Nitin Garg was murdered while just last week an Indian taxi driver in Ballarat was beaten and called an Indian c_nt. Some people still deny that there is a racism problem towards Indians in Melbourne, but I have become convinced that there is something not quite right going on and that a solution to this problem needs to be found. Unfortunately most Aussies will put their heads in the sand or even worse, just play childish games by pointing out the well known problems that exist in India. That is what the Herald Sun’s Alan Howe did just this week.

Now listen here India

* Alan Howe
* From: Herald Sun
* January 17, 2010 8:41PM
INDIANS are a riot. Indeed, there are about 60,000 riots reported in India each year.

It boasts it is the world’s largest democracy, but that “democracy” is very much a work in progress, and the progress is slow.

Much of the country still has well-populated pockets of feudal brutality, deadly caste war, and murderous religious conflict.

Leave your question or comment for Alan below
His live blog begins at 1pm

Indians still carry out so-called honour killings, an unpleasant business in which concerned male family members, worried about the class, religion, background, or maybe just the look of a girl’s fiance or husband, brutally kill one or both for bringing shame upon them. Apparently no irony is intended.
Along with the popular takeaway chicken tikka masala, honour killings are a notable Indian export.

Just last month a young secretary and mother was found dying in a London street, bashed and with her right hand missing. Her husband and his mate have been charged with her murder.

It’s reported she’d wanted a divorce. I can’t think why.

Geeta Aulakh’s family is from Punjab, India’s most socially and economically advanced state, but life there can be barbaric. It was also home to Nitin Garg, the young graduate murdered here recently.

Were it not such a tragic and serious matter, you could almost have found amusing Indian politicians, and that country’s sub-standard media, lecturing Victoria on our “racist” attitudes.

Among Indian politicians calling for more action to prevent “racist” attacks was External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who threatened: “This heinous crime on humanity, this is an uncivilised attack on innocent Indians. It will certainly have some bearing on the bilateral ties between our two countries.”

Another minister rudely dismissed our police chief with an impertinent insult.

He inherited a Victoria Police that has been unnecessarily secretive and defensive for years, ever since Neil Comrie had the top job.
So it was like a breath of fresh air when he loudly went in to bat for his officers, and you and me, telling his Indian critics “there are over 33,000 murders in India every year; 8000 of those are actually brides being killed because the dowry’s not sufficient”.

Like more than a few Australian men, some Indian chaps are hopeless in the kitchen, but they are also more careless; their stoves so often blow up, killing their wives. It is called stove killing or bride burning. What really happens is that the grumpy husband douses his inadequate wife in kerosene and sets her alight, blaming his jerry-built cooker.

I don’t suppose they’re all guilty; I’m sure you’ve been in a few houses yourself when the stove’s blown up.

I’ve had my moments with the missus, but I’ve never looked to the Hotpoint for an answer.

According to the United Nations, more people are murdered in India than in any other country. The figures should shame the Indian Government and its police, but they’d rather demand, as Mr Krishna did when Mr Garg was murdered, that Australia “speedily” catch the killer.

I have some advice for Mr Krishna. In 2007, the last complete year for which figures on Indian murders are available — but you’ll appreciate there’s a lot of adding up to do — 32,318 murders were reported. The conviction rate was 35.5 per cent.

India’s Minister for Police should get on his bike — or bullock cart — and “speedily” chase down those 20,845 scoundrels who escaped conviction.

Punjab’s police chief is P.S. Gill and, like Overland, he is newly appointed. He has his work cut out for him.

According to India’s National Crime Records Bureau, Mr Gill has to deal with perhaps 800 murders a year, and as many kidnappings and abductions among a population only somewhat greater than Australia’s.

His officers are kept busy, sometimes on matters that less commonly clutter the diaries of their Australian counterparts: for instance, about 1000 unidentified bodies turn up each year in Punjab. Bodies, not missing people.

Since Mr Garg was killed, many Indians — not just those indolent thugs burning effigies of Kevin Rudd — have turned on Australia and Australians and lazily and reactively branded us as racist.

The head of the Right-wing Hindu Shiv Sena party, Bal Thackeray, said he would bar Australian cricketers from playing locally. “We will not allow kangaroo cricketers to play in Mumbai … Our boys are being stabbed, burnt and shot at in that country,” he said.

I am unaware any of “his boys” have been “burnt”, but maybe he’s confusing himself with local cases.

There were also calls for a trade embargo, a predictable call to suspend the recruitment of students by Australian universities and, hurtfully, “Bollywood superstar” Amitabh Bachchan’s rejection of an honorary degree from a Brisbane university.

Who? I looked him up on the internet, and just last week he won a local best-actor award. Receiving it, he said: “It feels strange to win a best-actor award. I mean, what exactly am I doing here?”

I have no idea, mate, but keep talking.

Nitin Garg’s death is a tragedy. For him, his family in Punjab, his friends, and for our community.

We don’t know yet who killed him. It probably was an opportunistic robbery gone wrong, but he may have been killed by someone out to harm an Indian. He may have even been killed by an Indian. They have form, home and away.

So let’s solve the crime and get the facts. Let’s not jump to any conclusions.

Well, maybe one: Australia is a safer and more tolerant country than India will ever be.

I am sure there are better ways of proving that Australia is not a racist country than by writing the most racist diatribe possible. We like to see Australia as being the best country in the world and as such we should not give a damn about what is happening in India but instead of trying to fix our own problems first. Howe just proves his ignorance with crap like this and instead of helping ease the tensions between India and Australia he is just fanning the flames even further. Howe just has a stupid habit of trying to prove that white people are superior to everyone else and it is just embarrassing and extremely racist. I am sick of horribly patronising articles like this and wonder how exactly Howe got his job.

Alan Howe

Posted: October 15, 2009 in Media Watch, Racism
Tags: ,

I was reading Monday’s Herald Sun and happened upon the opinion page where Alan Howe explained how the Jackson Jive skit that appeared on the Hey Hey It’s Saturday Reunion Show was not at all racist. I guess now that Alan Howe has deemed that the skit was not racist we can now assume that the case is closed, except for the fact that he seems to be the last person who I would trust when discussing racial issues. Anyone who has read anything that this ‘hack’ has written over the last few months should realise that his columns are deliberately provocative and are full of patronising, poorly researched and constructed opinion that seems to simply be there to antagonize people. I suppose that this sort of thing will become more common in newspapers and other tradition news sources now that they are becoming increasingly irrelevant due to the internet.

 Howe is a former editor of the Sunday Herald Sun, a paper that became totally unreadable during his tenure there. He is apparently a music journalist who also appeared frequently on 3AW’s Saturday night program presenting some of the 20th century’s most MOR music ever written. He is currently the “Executive Editor” of The Herald Sun whose columns seem to always be about the issue of race, even though neither he nor us are racist!

 In his latest nonsensical column about the Hey Hey skit he posited that something can only be racist if it was intended to be racist, that Harry Connick Jr should not have complained because he is a terrible crooner who has on occasion sung the songs of Irving Berlin who once wrote some ‘coon songs’, and that America’s racist past is much greater than ours, so we are therefore not racist. Also the fact that 64% of Aborigines now marry non-Aborigines proves that we are somehow less racist than Americans because only 9% of black Americans marry non-blacks. Huh! Does this mean that if you marry someone with the same skin colour as your own then you are racist?!

 If anyone wants to read Howe’s column then they can just click here.

This is not the first time I have blogged about Howe. In June I posted a bit about his Islamaphobic rant where he defended Australia as not being racist by making one of the most racist comments that I have ever read in an Australian newspaper.

“There is no shame in most of us sharing Western Christian values. And if you are feeling morally, educationally and culturally superior to such people this morning, it’s probably because you are.”
 

Just a month ago Howe was at it again when he stated that “WHITE colonial rule gets bad press, but it is the best thing that happened to many countries”. He then went on to say that Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea and the Turks and Caicos islands are economic basket cases run either by a cruel dictator like Mugabe, or corrupt governments. He neglected to mention any of the countries that now have democratically elected governments that were not better off under white colonial rule. South Africa springs immediately to mind because even though they are experiencing all sorts of problems with their fledgling democracy, at least the apartheid policy and racial segregation has ended. Similarly there is the case of Belgian rule in late 19th Century Congo where the native people were subjected to the most extreme forms of racism, torture and genocide by their colonial masters.

I also notice that the link that I made in my June post to Howe’s column is no longer any good. So I think I will reprint his more recent comments here for prosperity, since the Herald Sun may take them off line in a month or two.

“We must let them blunder
• Alan Howe
• September 14, 2009
WHITE colonial rule gets bad press, but it is the best thing that happened to many countries
Colonialists stepped between the warring tribes of Africa and built nations, developed mining and agriculture, forged education and transport systems, introduced organised sports, and created wealth and employment where there had been almost none.
These days the colonialists have been sent packing, but their aid money is all that keeps many countries whose natural wealth is often the envy of other continents from complete chaos.
Zimbabwe springs to mind. It has some of the world’s largest deposits of platinum, but it also has iron, steel, copper, nickel and lithium, which is sought after for batteries.
It will mark, but perhaps not celebrate, the 30th anniversary of independence next year.
Self-rule has been a disaster for what was not so long ago one of the richest countries in Africa. Its gross domestic product has plummeted to $188 a year for each Zimbabwean.
That’s not a long-term problem for the local women; they’re dead by 34.
Zimbabweans were better off when they were ruled from London and later by the white settlers.
The United Nations bullied the country into independence and quite rightly. Every people want and deserve to rule themselves, no matter how bad they are at it.
Proving laughably inadequate at running itself has been a tin-pot bunch of Caribbean islands known at the Turks and Caicos where not much has happened since its pirates left their ships years ago and started up banks.
You’ve seen some of the locals. Small bands of them turn up to the Commonwealth Games. They didn’t win a medal in Melbourne in 2006. That’s OK, they’ve never won a medal.
The islands sell some lobsters to the US, mint a few commemorative coins and put out collectible stamps proudly marking their Commonwealth Games participation.
Michael Misick was Premier to the islands’ 36,000 people until recently but, amid claims of rampant corruption and allegations Misick and his former wife led lives of breathtaking luxury, Britain last month resumed control of this little outpost.
Misick’s extravagance included a chauffeured gold Cadillac, a Hollywood actress wife with her own line of lingerie, private jets and, according to his departing missus, a campaigning strategy that included handing out $100 bills.
Its tax-haven status, offshore income and tourism means the islands haven’t descended into the tortured depths of Zimbabwe, but Misick’s style had that African feel to it that had London in a panic, so in an act of 19th century-like colonial arrogance it grabbed back the tiller.
It shouldn’t have, notwithstanding that it will certainly run the place more honestly, efficiently and peacefully.
Only accidents of history tie London to Grand Turk, whose national anthem may be God Save the Queen, but whose population includes less than 1 per cent of European ancestry.
The Turks and Caicos Islanders have the right to stuff up their future and it should not be for colonials to show them how.
I have said before that a second coalition of the willing should be assembled to bowl over the forces that sustain Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, but that’s because he is a barking mad, genocidal, racist mass-murderer.
Mugabe’s fate should then be put in the hands of “his” grateful people and we should withdraw, making sure only that we do not leave a political vacuum in which another Mugabe might flourish.
Australia showed the world how to successfully withdraw as a colonial power when we gently nudged Papua New Guinea to independence throughout the early 1970s.
Since then, PNG has sunk into corrupt and violent despair. It is estimated that a third of the country’s government spending is pocketed by corrupt officials, women are routinely abused and half of them have been raped.
Its infant mortality rates are the worst in the Pacific region, increasing numbers of women bleed to death after giving birth with no medical assistance, people are kidnapped for ransom, and gun violence is out of control.
By 2025, about 500,000 Papua New Guineans are expected to have AIDS, taking up most of the country’s hospital beds.
The Australian Government’s travel advisory last week summed up the problems: “Crime is random and particularly prevalent in urban areas such as Port Moresby, Lae and Mt Hagen. Settlement areas of towns and cities are particularly dangerous . . . there is a significant risk of robbery and carjacking in the area near Parliament House.” It also warns of recent outbreaks of cholera and dysentery.
PNG’s problems run deep, but are partly rooted in a social system known as wantok, where your family and friends’ loyalty and responsibility to each other takes precedence over everything.
As a result cronies, clan loyalists we’d call them mates too often have government positions that should be held by experts.
Australia has invested upwards of $12 billion in aid in PNG since independence and we don’t have much to show for it.
Despite all the trauma and failure, it is up to the people of PNG to right the wrongs.
We can help with better focused aid and, despite the collapsed health system and outbreaks of deadly disease, this should start by funding secondary schools at which PNG’s best can be educated.
Only an educated elite that understands the country’s problems and the degree to which its Westminster system of government wobbles uncomfortably on the country’s embedded social patterns, is likely make a difference.
We did an excellent job running PNG but its fate is in their hands now.
And it’s time the British started rubbing out those pink bits on the world’s maps, no matter how small they are.”

And for some of Howe’s more recent racism…

“A few stones from US sinners
• Alan Howe
• October 11, 2009
RACISM usually refers to structured methods of repression or organised supremacy, not a bunch of half-wits trying to amuse Red Symons.
That nonsense about the blackfaced Jackson Jive act on Hey Hey It’s Saturday was first stirred up by an overly sensitive Harry Connick Jr, then jumped on by some of his countrymen.
Connick is a cheesy, half-talented copycat singer employing cliched Sinatra stylings while recycling jazz standards that have been sung better everywhere. You don’t want to hear what he does to a decent pop song.
Connick knows that America’s battle with racism goes on. And on.
Theirs is the land that gave the world “Coon songs” performed, of course, by whites — and not a few blacks — to cheering audiences, mostly in the late 19th century. They had titles like New Coon In Town, The Coons Are On Parade, and If The Man In The Moon Were A Coon.
They were racist attempts at “humour” characterising black Americans as wanton and violent drunks and buffoons.
Legendary songwriter Irving Berlin dabbled with the genre, but Connick is happy to sing the odd Berlin song. That’s how Connick makes money, singing songs, so why should he be too fussy about who wrote them?
I helped found the Immigration Museum on Flinders St and it stands as a celebration of the most successful mass migration of modern times.
Here are a few statistics that help explain which country has best dealt with its racist past: in the decade to 1996, the number of Australia’s Aboriginals marrying outside their race rose from 46 per cent to 64 per cent. Today it’s higher still.
The number of American blacks doing the same is less than 9 per cent.
I’m glad Connick took the time to discuss race relations in America; it is an all-too-often an unuttered, but powerful subtext to almost every debate in his country.
Australia has been guilty of deep prejudice against Aboriginals, and some others, but we’ve said sorry and we’re dealing with it.
Connick and his stateside blog buddies need to do the same. They are decades overdue.”


Sometimes Australians really annoy me. Just after I had made a post stating how the recent attacks on Indian students were not racially motivated but were just a symbol how the increase of violence in Australian society, some idiots have to go and prove me wrong. I have heard on the news how in the last couple of days some Indian students have had their cars firebombed in Springvale, whilst some other Indian students have received death threats. Sigh!

 I have always known that there is a deep vein of racism that runs through Australian society, despite what Herald Sun columnists Andrew Bolt and Alan Howe say. It is easy for the Bolts and Howes of this world to be ignorant of racism since they never get to experience it first hand. I used to be naïve and ignorant of racism until I started going out with Priscilla. Since then I have seen how racist Australians can be, from very overt racism, when some idiot called Priscilla a ‘gook’ at a party, from the more subtle type, when I was invited to a wedding but she was not, despite my brother’s wife and sister’s boyfriend being invited. (And despite the fact that at that stage Priscilla and I had been a couple and living together for two years!)

 I really must make comment about Alan Howe’s editorial in the Herald in this morning. It takes a really special individual who when defending Australians as being not racist can make an Islamaphobic rant an end it with one of the most offensively racist statements that I have heard for a long, long time.

“There is no shame in most of us sharing Western Christian values. And if you are feeling morally, educationally and culturally superior to such people this morning, it’s probably because you are.”

Bravo. Way to prove Australians are not racist by writing a racist column.

 As for Andrew Bolt, he gave his usual rant last week. While I agree with him that society has generally become more violent I would not say that it was the non-Anglos causing all the trouble. I would also not say that the Cronulla riots were not racially motivated as they clearly were. Bolt said that the perpetrators of the riot were just Aussie thugs who were fed up with the Lebanese gangs that had invaded the beach. He conveniently ignored the fact that the Aussies were chanting racist slogans and physically attacking anyone who looked foreign. Bolt also said that Pauline Hanson and her supporters were not racist but working class Aussies who were disenchanted with politicians. No Andrew, they were xenophobic Aussies who were disenchanted with politicians and disliked people who were not Anglo. Not racist at all!!!

For anyone interested, here is Alan Howe’s awful article.