Wednesday, August 10, 2005

New British Pakistani Plus


The silliest news story of the week so far IMHO is this one:

Britain's Ethnic Minorities 'To Get New Names'

Britain's ethnic minority communities might be given new names in an effort to strengthen their ties to this country.Home Office minister Hazel Blears is to ask minority communities whether they would prefer to be known by US-style terms such as Pakistani-British, rather than simply 'Asians'.The idea is one of a set of proposals to be floated at meetings that Ms Blears is holding around the country to discuss how to steer young Muslims away from radicalism.

However, whilst achieving a truly impressive level of silliness, this story also does a fine job of illustrating the quality of minds currently occupying our government. The people who rebranded the ‘Old’ Labour Party to New Labour are now toying with doing something similar with entire ethnic groups.

Treating people’s identity as if it can be rebranded like soap powder or a chocolate bar could prove to be a lot of fun and it if it proves successful there would also be scope for developing different brands for niche markets…

'New' British Pakistani – Vibrant, yet non-threatening, the New Labour vision of how British Pakistanis should be perceived - suitable for everyday consumption

British Pakistani Plus/ Pakistani Extra – A full-strength, uncompromising blend of Pakistani, suitable for discerning consumers who want their multiculturalism with that ‘straight from the airport’ taste

British Pakistani Lite – For times when you feel like interacting with Pakistanis but only if they dress and talk exactly like you do

British Pakistani Demuslimated - with all the rich ethnicity you’ve come to expect but with 99% of the fundamental religious belief removed. Guaranteed not to keep you awake at night.

Of course, the problem with treating people as if they are soap powder or chocolate bars is that you have to rebrand them every 3–5 years to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace but that’s a small price to pay for Utopia.


de said...

Pakistani Classic - When you absolutely, positively, have to kill every mutha fucker in the train, accept no substitutes.

Stef said...

ah, a fellow fan of Jackie Brown I see

In an attempt to placate any Pakistanis who don't share our satirical tastes and come across this post and these comments may I also mention the availability of

'Bolognese Classic'

Very similar to Pakistani Classic in that a lot of people get murdered on a train and nobody ever finds out who really did it, ...

The media either has a very short memory or I'm getting old, or both

David said...

You are poking out the Alf Garnett in me like picking out a winkle. Temptation to make remarks that could lead to the end of my blogging career are being mentally moderated as I type, as I remember citizen Alf only needed one blanket term for everyone who wasn't 100% Anglo-Saxon (including catholics) and would then add extra names when referring to someone in particular. I won't go on... ;)

Sparkling said...

If it was me I think I would prefer Paki to Persil.

Northun Munki in Oxford Circus said...

It appears Ms Blears forgot to understand that "American Irish" was a term they coined to describe themselves whilst pissing off everyone else.

Not some think-tank induced rebranding.

Stef said...

That reminds me of a story I read last year some time about a poll that established 30-40% of Americans claim Irish ancestry. The 'real' figure is something like 16%.

Whenever I was in America pre 9/11 I frequently encountered people who referred to the Potato Famine as if I was somehow personally responsible because of my nationality, whereas all of my ancestors were dealing with famines of their own back in Italy in 1846. Similar negative thoughts come to my mind whenever I find myself being lumped into the same group that owned plantations and operated slave ships fifty to a hundred years before that, because of my skin colour. The words 'Off' and 'Fuck' come to mind, not necessarily in that order.

Americans of German descent compromise something like 23% of the American population though, strangely, the term German American doesn't get bandied about anywhere near as frequently as Irish American. I wonder why...

jackenstein of all trades said...

(aka rahid)
That last para there is the 'rye old
quote of the week'! Brill.