Monday, 22 August 2011

Unwanted

"Top 10 things not wanted in Worcester Park...", writes Blog reader 'Nichu':

  1. Mosque 
  2. Any establishment frequented by children 
  3. Italian restaurants (especially if also incorporates 2.) 
  4. Hairdressers 
  5. Charity shops 
  6. Establishments that play music 
  7. New water/gas mains 
  8. New England style housing developments 
  9. Pound shops 
  10. Traffic congestion (unless it leads to more custom for businesses not in list above)
Which raises the question, what do we want in Worcester Park?"

Good point, Nichu. That's my plans for a charity mosque for children well and truly dashed.

120 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

shelokay said...

I would LOVE some child places and more cheap pound shops!! yay
as for the rest i couldnt care less

Anonymous said...

Love it! That is nearly as funny as Spurs fans singing " You're just a shit Michael Jackson" to Nani.

Anonymous said...

I've got no problems at all with a mosque.
However would love:
Decent independent cozy cafes\bars\pubs with good food and no djs!
A gym or more fitness classes\room for them
Chemist that stays open later than 5.30
Post office that opens when it says it will (what is going on with the one on Central Road?)
Bookshop
Some more netting under the bridge to stop the nervous pigeon walk!
A good baker\deli
card\gift shop
A volunteer forum or more accessible ways to get involved in the community
A late night opening even once a month from grocer, butcher etc...

Captain America said...

Brilliant, great list!

Give it a few more posts and I'm sure we can turn it into a slanging match of some sort, most likely aimed at No.8 but 1 and 7 seem quite topical at the moment so they've got to be in with a shout too.

axlrocky said...

best post for a while - well done nichu!

Anonymous said...

I guess I must be the only one who loves charity shops!

Anonymous said...

What we need is a council with a bit of backbone and does what it promises, not forget all about it once voting has finished !!

Ian Morris said...

I think WP could do with having something like a Website or Blog all about WP news/observations/current affairs etc, and maybe even a facility where the readers of the Website/Blog can leave comments relating to the various articles ;)

Gail said...

I want ALL of the items in that list!

What I don't want is drunk people having shouted conversations up and down the street at 2am on weekends and noisily throwing up on street corners.

debbie said...

There are 2 empty shops on Central Road, either one great for any of the suggestions above, just waiting for someone to put their money where their mouth is.

Debbie said...

There are 2 empty shops on Central Road, each one great for any of the above suggestions, just waiting for someone to put their money where their mouth is

Magic Dragon said...

Dream list: A moving pavement so you could hop on up and down the high street; no more roadworks; bring back the enjoyment of shopping.
Wish list: No mosque please!
PS List: Charity shops nice to browse; no more though.

Jeff said...

Nichu has forgotten that religious tolerance became law in this country more than 150 years ago and for a very good reason. By singling out Mosques for the Not Wanted treatment he discriminates against Islam. I think he's been listening to too much U.S. government propaganda designed to justify its continuing intervention in the Middle East.

Most WP people are agreed that the Bank Chambers are not at all suitable for a mosque. But if WP's local Muslims found somewhere that was suitable, maybe doubling up with a local church, who is Nichu to deny them the same opportunities that other religions have? After all, both Christians and Muslims look to exactly the same God.

Anonymous said...

Basically what WP residents want are new businesses that don't involve; the quiet and peaceful worship of a minority community, young people, Italians (sorry Italians welcome as long as they don't sell food), noise, anything inexpensive, anything that requires maintenance or anything that will encourage people to the area, unless they are on public transport. Glad we've got that clear.

Anonymous said...

I saw several asian gentlemen measuring up th e old Gleesons site. Perhaps the Mosque is going there. Certainly more space for cars.

Rick said...

Basically what WP residents want is not just Christians and Muslims, but everyone to look to and observe exactly the same building regulations that became law many years ago, for a very good reason. And for all WP residents to equally abide by such laws, rather than seek to discriminate in favour of a minority, simply because they are of a particular faith.

Most WP people are agreed that Bank Chambers are not at all suitable for a mosque. But in spite of common sense objections and the planning laws, that appears to be exactly what a highly secretive organisation is covertly pursuing.

All we know about them is that despite claiming to be a local community group, they obstinately avoid that local community, having repeatedly, hotly denied their own existence and (every time it’s noticed) promptly deleting any trace of themselves on the web.

Since they refuse divulge who they are, or what their true agenda is, or what they require the building for and they disregard planning laws, most WP people are concerned.

However, interestingly, some embrace this mysterious “cause”, apparently on the basis of absolutely no knowledge of what they are embracing! (Notably those with an overt, wider, political agenda and a grudge against Western Institutions and Democracies).

Glad we've got that clear.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with having a mosque in Worcester Park? We have enough churches. It smacks of racism and/or religious intolerance.

Jushy said...

Jeff I agree with you on this one! It is completely religious intolerance to list a mosque at the top of the most unwanted list.
How would people like it if I said, the thing I wanted least was a synagogue in Worcester Park? I would be called anti-semitic and all sorts.
I am pleased to read majority of the comments do not share the same views as Nichu.

Personally I would like to see a 'Tudor Williams' type of shop, reason being if I have to buy a gift for somebody at short notice there is NOWHERE on the high street to buy it from.

Anonymous said...

I do not see any problem what so ever if there was a mosque in WP, all they are doing is worshipping god the same god as they worship in churches. I think they feel they cannot make the plans public because of the reaction of the comminuity..... it stinks!! Seriously people need to get real and realise that just because they are muslims they are not bad people infact they are some of the most respectful people you would hope to meet unlike us arrogant brits I am afraid to say!!! People should be more concerned with the idiots we have out on the streets every fri and sat night screaming at the top of their voices and shouting abuse! I know what I would prefer and it certainly is not more bars!!

Parkie said...

The Gleeson building is owned by Muslims who were hoping to start a Muslim school there, to date squatters have made more use of it. As regards Bank Chambers it's location and lack of parking should surely prevent the Council from giving Planning Permission for any changes to what is basically an office building. If anything is going to happen there, doesn't the Planning Law dictate that notification of intention for change of use should be posted both in local papers and in a prominent position in the windows of the property? Let us all get off the racist band wagon and be realistic in that what is left of a nice suburb will become yet another casualty if a mosque was to be allowed. You only have to see how the dynamics of Morden have changed.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with having no planning laws for a mosque in Worcester Park? We have enough law-abiding churches. It smacks of racism and/or religious intolerance.

Anonymous said...

I hope that anything that needs Planning permission is posted here as The Sutton Guardian seems to have dropped lots of roads in Worcester Park. When I phoned them to enquire what was happening with my road I was told that they didnt have enough delivery people. There are plenty of children looking for paper rounds.

axlrocky said...

The simple difference is "community". The local churches run fun days, have two parades a year and run childrens groups and workshops that all are welcome to.

I am a catholic and will be welcomed into a baptist, methodist or Church of England church to give worship if I so choose. Also a sikh, muslim, hindhu or buddhist would also be welcomed. Christianity at a local level (not global we all know about religious wars and history) is fairly tolerant and inclusive.

A mosque is not inclusive and that is why there is major objection, they do not serve a community but seek to provide a private worship area which builds divides in communities as people are generally anti what they do not understand or feel they are being excluded from. If the mosques were more open and allowed everyone access then the situation may be improved. There is no "Them" and "Us" scenario in local level christianity where there is in the muslim faith which is much stricter.

Im not saying one is better or right versus the other just explaining the reason that Nichu's view will be shared by the majority.

The real driving force should be whether the census suggests that there are enough muslims to need a mosque in WP - if there are then so be it but a suitable site needs to be found not Bank Chambers.

If they build it and we are not consulted then one thing is for sure - it will finally be the end of the Liberal Army running roughshod over WP and Sutton.

Magic Dragon said...

There was some kind of grand opening in the old Gleesons building at the end of last week, all festooned with balloons. Yesterday evening loads of men (? students) were coming out of it, all looking a bit lost in the area. Someone said it was an English Language College - anyone know?

Jeff said...

I don't think there were many Muslim faces (ie Arabs and Pakistanis) present in the crowds of rioters and looters the other week. They were conspicuous by their absence. Yet we continue to cold shoulder them and want to ban their mosques (and therefore them) from Worcester Park.

I agree that the mosque up at Morden is much too big, it changes the whole character of the area for non-Muslim people, it's too in your face.

Equal opportunities for opportunists said...

I’ve just had my planning application rejected! Frankly, it’s no surprise, since it cut out all my neighbours’ light and the proposed windows were deliberately positioned to look straight into their bedroom!

But thanks to this blog, I’ve realised that if I join the elusive Worcester Park Mosque, I can ignore the planning laws at will and I can crack on with it, whatever the law says or anyone else thinks. But it seems they’re a shy bunch – does anyone know how I go about signing up?

Obviously the neighbours will kick off and the council will belatedly show an interest at some point, but I’ll just delete the plans I submitted and declare no such plans for an extension ever existed.

When my extension’s complete and in use, and the neighbourhood and the council are up in arms, I’ll just keep denying it exists. Cheers, for the very useful advice!

I'll also be sure to announce on this blog that it smacks of racism and/or religious intolerance and people need to get real and realise that I'm one of the most respectful law breakers that ever showed two fingers to this community!

Anonymous said...

Presumably instead of a place of worship for some members of our community, people would like the building to remain empty and semi-derelict? A new church would be good but sadly church-going is in decline with many closing around the country, so why not allow the Mosque to be built?

More people coming to WP for whatever reason will only be a good thing in terms of business for local shops. And you can guarantee that they won't be drunken, violent yobs that throw up on street corners, but peaceful worshippers.

Too many Mail/ Express readers who believe all they read about certain groups..

Jushy said...

Just a quick comment on the mosque in Morden. It is actually a 'Ahmadiyya' mosque, which means it only caters for Ahmadiyyas. Most mainstream Muslims do not regard Ahmadiyys as Muslims so wouldn't worship at that mosque as it's, in effect a different religion. You can Google it for more information.

As for being inclusive, I agree non-Muslims would not benefit from a mosque. However as far as I'm aware anybody can go to a mosque as long as they abide by the normal rules (dressing modestly etc.) Most mosques welcome non-Muslims and are happy to talk about and explain their religion.

Annoyed said...

Am I right in thinking most people here have completely missed the point of Nichu's original email?

I don't think they're saying they personally don't want a mosque, the Hamptons etc. They're summarising the basic tone of the comments this blog receives and the numpties above are proving the point.

The point is the question "WHAT *DO* PEOPLE WANT?". Anyone trying to do something with the empty shops/buildings in WP meets a wall of criticism.

Personally, I'd like a good fishmonger

Anonymous said...

Weatherspoons with a McDonalds inside. It's genius. The chavs will never have to leave! Worcester Park would be considered a nice place again!

Minigee said...

I second a good fishmonger. I'd also like a good bookshop and please can we turn poundland into a small but lovely cinema. Big releases at the week end, children's films on Saturday morning and classics with a bit of art house through the week. We could have mums and babies on Wednesday mornings too. Finally, an old fashioned sweet shop with jars of lemon sherbets etc lined up in the window.

Magic Dragon said...

Wetherspoons is actually a nice option, no music, no football chanting. reasonably priced food and drink and polite staff. Better than the wine bar yobbo fraternity who stand around outside chanting and oggling all the women, or the rude 'this is my pub and we'll act how we want' type - won't mention names but readers will know of them around here.

Of course people have the right to practice their own religion but mosques shouldn't be put in small towns/villages where they attract strangers to the area, causing locals to feel uneasy and also problems with parking and traffic.

Captain America said...

"Annoyed" is spot-on...Nichu's list was tongue-in-cheek based on the very sort of rambling comments you see above.

Add this to the recent sense of humour failure over the "Miss Spelling" joke and I do worry about the level of some people's sense of humour (i.e. missing).

Some people really need to start taking themselves seriously!

Wonder Woman said...

I would love to see a really good baker / fishmonger and butcher.
A nice independent cafe with good 'home cooked' food
I agree with the Tudor Williams style shop
Oh, wouldn't it be loverly...

I went to Oxshott the other day to the great butcher there - it certainly supports some of the above.

Maybe we should start a food 'market' ?? often discussed on R4 food program as a way for a community to get good food... or can we get a farmers market here, say once a month?
what do you think?

Jeff said...

Magic Dragon says there shouldn't be a mosque in small towns like Worcester Park because it would attract strangers causing locals to feel uneasy. As 50% of London residents are now from ethnic 'minorities' isn't it a bit late to start feeling uneasy about strangers in our midst?

Of course, before long the 80,000 Libyans living in the UK will be going home now that their country is free followed by the 250,000 Iraqis and before long the sizeable contingent of Afghans who came here claiming they were escaping despotism and war.

But we should always treat guests with hospitality and this includes allowing them places of prayer for the duration of their stay.

The fact that men in strange clothes have been seen in the Bank Chambers doesn't automatically mean they were Arabs measuring it up for a mosque, they could easily have been interested in opening a proper ethnic food store like in New Malden and North Cheam.

Personally, more than anything else, I'd vote for a local branch of Lydls. If you've tasted their Herrings in Cream Sauce for only £1-20 you'll know why.

Anonymous said...

I'm a baker and have often thought about setting up a lovely shop in WP given the lack of variety. However, I'm very reluctant to do this given that so many businesses close down in the area. I can only assume that this is because people won't support them for one reason or another. Having gone through some of the posts it's clear that people want high quality items but want to pay as little as possible. Unfortunately this isn't possible anymore unless you use cheap products or buy in bulk. I have no doubt that within 6 months I'd be out of business.

Politically Corrected Unwanted said...

Most Unwanted, politically corrected for excitable liberal readers:

1. Mosques having to comply with planning requirements
2. Any establishment frequented by children (unless it’s a mosque)
3. Italian restaurants (unless they're operated by an Italian Muslim)
4. Hairdressers (unless all staff wear a headscarf)
5. Charity shops (unless the charity provides famine relief in Somalia, flood relief in Pakistan or vehicle mounted guns in Libya)
6. Establishments that play music (unless the music is by the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens)
7. New water/gas mains (unless the intended gas is to be imported from North Africa or the Middle East)
8. New England style housing developments (unless it’s just a cover story for a mosque)
9. Pound shops (unless they take Egyptian Pounds)
10. Traffic congestion (unless it entails converting Central Road into an exclusive car park, for a secret central mosque).

Jushy said...

I agree, Lidl all the way! If you've had their vanilla ice cream you'll also know why it's such a great store. Perhaps they could buy the old M&S?

There are actually quite a lot of Muslims in Worcester Park believe it or not, so a mosque wouldn't attract 'strangers' but just your standard WP residents or people who work in WP.
I hope people realise that a mosque would only be used predominantly on Friday lunchtimes and during the month of Ramadan. I agree there shouldn't be secrecy about opening a mosque, however given public opinion can you blame them for keeping it quiet?

Politically Corrected Unwanted - You are very silly.

wonder woman said...

Mr Anonymous Baker... I would buy your bread and cakes if they were good quality and at the right price.

Just need to find a butcher and fishmonger now.

Nichu said...

Blimey! Was perhaps a bit too subtle...
It would be nice to have some more independent shops, but I can understand why people wouldn't want to set anything up when it's so risky.
I agree about buying gifts - it'd be much nicer being able to pick something up from the high street rather than having to traipse into Kingston. A specialist running shop, perhaps, they always seem to do well. A pub with nice real ales and homecooked pies (don't mind paying more if it's good - otherwise I might as well eat at home). @ the baker - perhaps you could try with an online presence first of all for cakes, and see how it goes? If you did have a premises, you could look into running evening courses for anyone inspired by the great British bake off. A fishmonger would be good but fish is quite expensive so I can't see people going there except for special occasions. I think there is the market for one more cafe (not just fry-ups) but some sandwiches and cakes that don't have to be too poncey and overpriced.
As for the mosque, I'm open minded...

Anonymous said...

I was hoping the the old M & S store would have been turned into a gym, or even used as an evening class venue.

Anonymous said...

Nichu - it's the baker.

I do have an online presence my website is www.sprinkaliciousbakery.co.uk

I currently supply a number of cafes and do private orders.

Magic Dragon said...

Yes, let's talk food -
Highly recommended:
LIDLS NEOPOLITAN ICE CREAM!
The best ever!

axlrocky said...

maybe landlords need to think about their renting strategies, like minded traders could get together and team up to sell together in a unit like Aventura. You could have three or four small online retailers together sharing the risk, even offer pitches in a small market type offering, probably wont work but better than empty shops

little smiff said...

I am really starting to wonder about the memory span and observational ability of the current crop of "residents" who are commenting on this thread. Worcester Park had a fishmonger at 68 Central Road. It closed due to lack of business. As for meat what's wrong with Woodward Bros? Dearer than the supermarkets but can't be touched for quality, freshness and cheerful service. Bread and pastries are readily available from a number of different outlets and if you want more bespoke items go down to Plough Green. Fresh fruit and veg from Ross greengrocers. Agreed we lack a gift shop but how many times a year would we shop there? Christmas and birthdays probably. I am one of the greatest detractors regarding the general state of Worcester Park and the fact that Sutton, Kingston and Merton councils really couldn't give a t**s about the town, other than to reap in revenue from the residents, but we should be grateful for the fact that we have sufficent shops in the town to supply us with most of our daily needs. As for Bank Chambers I have commented before that it makes no difference as to what use the building is put to if it requires mass public access. The area surrounding it could not cope with extra parking or pedestrians. A typical example of the sort of problems that could lead to can be experienced every evening when trying to turn into Green Lane from Central Road against the tide of homeward bound, phone using, ipod wearing commuters. Only a matter of time before someone gets run over crossing against the red man signals. More traffic and pedestrians at that junstion.... I don't think so.

Jeff said...

axlrocky says mosques aren't inclusive (unlike churches). But has axlrocky ever tried to attend a mosque or read the Qu'uran?

Unless you were turned away at the door don't presume you wouldn't be welcome. Mohammed instructed all Muslims to read the 'scriptures' (the New Testament and the Talmud, the first 5 books of the Old Testament) and to abide by the commandments found therein. Jesus is considered a very important messenger in the Qu'uran and his name appears on almost every other page so axlrocky should have plenty to talk about when visiting a mosque.

Worcester Park used to have an excellent fishmongers, Hales, until about 10 years ago but it closed.

It used to have an excellent bakers that baked its own bread, Morleys, but that closed down 25 years ago. The Bakery at Plough Green still bakes its own bread and survives but isn't in Central Road.

WP used to have its own Tudor Williams-style store that occupied where WH Smith and adjacent premises now stand but it closed in 1970 one month after I turned up here.

Everybody wants these shops, the problem is when it comes to it we all go to Tesco for the convenience of one-stop shopping.

Previous bloggers have ommitted the one shop I'm sure everyone would welcome in Worcester Park - a halaal butchers. Glad we're all agreed about that.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Gate sell halaal meat - in preparation for forthcoming mass customers?

Rick said...

Jushy, you seem to have a rather interesting viewpoint:

“there shouldn’t be secrecy about opening a mosque, however given public opinion can you blame them for keeping it quiet?”

Does anyone seriously believe they are “keeping it quiet”? I suggest you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in KT4 that doesn’t know about it!

News first broke, (if I remember rightly, here on this blog), some 18-months ago. This was after the initial, seriously botched attempt at “keeping it quiet”. If you believe it’s a secret, you are deluding yourself - it has to be the worst kept, open “secret” in Worcester Park!

Secondly, is it your sincere belief that “public opinion” should be in firmly in support of those who defy planning laws? Or do you believe the community should keep quiet, if commercial buildings are being put to an unpopular, impractical or illegal use? Or do you simply believe the laws themselves should only apply to certain faiths?

“I hope people realise that a mosque would only be used predominantly on Friday lunchtimes and during the month of Ramadam.”

Really? Could you qualify this conclusion? Most on-line sources state that Muslims observe prayers 5 times-a-day: pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, evening, and throughout the year. To remind readers of the claim made in the second appeal advertisement, quote:

“The price for the building has been agreed, an initial £25,000 deposit paid AND PERMISSION GRANTED FROM THE LOCAL COUNCIL FOR HOLDING THE 5 PRAYERS”. Even if you haven’t set foot in mosque or attempted to read the Qur’an, there still doesn’t seem to be too much room for interpretation in that statement.

For those that want a mosque in Worcester Park, it seems ideology is of supreme importance, whilst practicality, legality, honesty and society are deemed completely irrelevant. Not really what you’d call a vote winner, is it?

Anonymous said...

All I can say is NO TO A MOSQUE - No No No No No! It is not the right place to have such a racist building, they won't let us into it so why should we let them in! Seriously it is a place where not everyone can go so it is nothing like other religions venues. They would be secluding us out. It is also completely the wrong venue at a busy traffic light junction so not even practical

Anonymous said...

And if the mosque were to go ahead without planning permissin being posted well we could certainly have the council up!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If people want a butcher, then a Halal butcher like the one in Motspur Park would be a good possiblity to sell quality meat at good prices.

Lidl's are long overdue in WP, as most other towns have one, as we only have Iceland in Central Road and Waitrose is far too expensive.

And a Savers (cheaper version of the now-expensive Superdrug) would be great.

Andy said...

Haha! 'Magic Dragon's' comment above made me chuckle 'attracting strangers which make the locals feel uneasy'. Are you JOKING????

Why are so many people in Worcester Park seemingly a parody of themselves....brings to mind 'is he locallll??!!' from League of Gents.

Worcester Park NEEDS strangers, because the locals don't seem to be putting anywhere near enough into the local businesses to keep the place alive!

I just don't understand the small/closed minded nature of this town. What the hell is the problem with opening the place up to new experiences and new people? Quite clearly the existing people aren't doing much to ensure the prosperity of the town, one walk down the high street will tell you that.

If you are scared of something because you don't understand it....do some bloody research on it for christ sake, don't just sit there. Do you really need to be spoon fed information? With technology as it is these days, ignorance is pretty much inexcusable, and it is pure ignorance that fuels most of the pig headed comments on here.

British Muslims are extremely nice people, and have no different SOCIAL ideals as the rest of us. My 3 yr old daughter recently visited Kingston mosque with her preschool class, and they all loved it, and the elders(?) of the mosque were absolutely welcoming and informative...I don't think its fair to say mosques add nothing to a community.

The gleesons building is now a business school i think, judging from driving past recently. Which I personally think is excellent, we need more education and especially vocational education.

I just cant understand the 'stagnant' attitude most people have. As I've said before on here, Worcester Park just seems like its dying, and the CONSTANT negative attitude of its residents just provides to make it happen sooner.

Please Worcester Park, lets wake up to reality and embrace change. Parking rules are in place in the area, people aren't going to suddenly be parking in your living room for goodness sake. Parking wont get worse, and it is for the visitors to the mosque to work out where to park and how to get there.

And who can draw comparisons with the mosque in Morden? As someone pointed out, it is effectivsly a different religion, something which Muslim people I know can attest to. And furthermore that mosque is HUGE. The bank chambers are not. So can we realistically think about the apparent effects it would have if it did indeed ultimately become a mosque, instead of pointless comments like 'no no no to a mosque' etc etc etc.

And again, please, Worcester Park, to the naive people who didn't notice the joke posting from 'Miss Pelling', and furthermore didn't realise the tone of Nichu's post above, can we have a sense of humour transplant and stop taking life so ridiculously seriously.

Change happens. King Cnut thought he could stop it. Are you with him, or with the rest of us?

HighlyEvolved said...

Good. I for one would certainly not like a mosque to be built in Worcester Park. However it shouldn't stop at mosques. Why is a mosque any worse than the multitude of churches, or a Hindu temple? All are places of twisted and demented brainwashing and take up otherwise valuable space that could be used to extend the high street even further.
If I had it my way I would have no mosques, no churches, no temples, no religious building of any sort whatsoever (and that goes for the mind blowingly inhumane suggestion of a Halal butcher mentioned above, you sick people)
Get rid of the people believing in magical sky wizards and Worcester Park becomes a better place, one with fewer social barriers and intolerances and certainly somewhere I would prefer to live...

Adrian Short said...

@HighlyEvolved

I'd hate to see lots of atheists move into Worcester Park.

Think of the parking problems, not to mention the smells from that dreadful food they cook.

Anonymous said...

I agree, religion is the cause of all evils...the cause of all wars and fighting. Ban it and the world will become a better place. People should do kind things.....not spend time praying for themselves and doing these awful things

Anonymous said...

Its not religion(whatever it is) that,s at fault, it's the people who follow religion and how they interpret their chosen religion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - What religion shall we blame for the riots then? As far as I can tell they weren't religion related.

Jeff said...

Anonymous - What religion shall we blame for the Nazi-Soviet War from 1941 to 1945? Both sides' leaders were athiests.

Nikko said...

Jeff, please check your facts: Hitler was a raised as a Catholic, and retained is religion; he said so in Mein Kampf: “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”. The Catholic Church supported what he did to the Jews prior to, and during, the war.
Stalin was brought up as an Orthodox Christian, and trained to be a priest. Although he rebelled against his teachings and vocally rejected religion, he later embraced religion again, and used religion to subdue the Soviet Union, allowing Orthodox Christianity to continue when in theory it was banned, (the priests would give him information on who said what against his rule). Whatever he said, religion played a part in his life.
Neither Hitler, nor Stalin, led their countries into war, or did anything else in the name of atheism. So whilst you may not be able to blame the Communist/Nazi war directly on religion, you can’t say that there was no religion involved. In fact, I think that you will be hard pushed to find a war declared in the cause of atheism.

Paul said...

Andy - good post. Love the references to King Cnut and Miss Pelling in successive paragraphs!

I don't know whether this blog is actually representative of the views of Worcester Parkers as a whole, but the increasing level of inane, narrow-minded comment seems to be directly proportional to the number of "anonymous" tags. Nichu's point seemed pretty clear - why have so many people missed it?

HighlyEvolved said...

@Jeff

Hitler was against organised religion but also made very strong remarks AGAINST Atheism. He certainly had some sort of belief in the supernatural.

The point is that there have been many wars in the name of religion but there has never been a war in the name of Atheism.

Anonymous said...

@HighlyEvolved, I’m no great fan of religion either, but preventing people from worshipping whatever god they see fit only seems to make them more determined! Let them have their mosque/ church etc and they will probably come to the obvious conclusion eventually.

However, the real religious based scandal that everyone should be more concerned with is the continuing existence of religious selection in schools. Someone above states that Christianity is tolerant and inclusive- well this is clearly not the case when Catholic Schools like nearby Richard Challoner blatantly discriminate against children on the basis of their (or their parents) religion. This shameful practice would not be allowed today in any other walk of life so I’m astounded that this tax payer funded discrimination can still be justified. Originally coming from a part of the Country with a more inclusive education system I was absolutely stunned when I recently read through the Kingston Schools prospectus and saw this discrimination blatantly written down in black and white, giving first priority catholic children, 2nd other Christians, 3rd other religions and bottom of the list, local children (but as the school is oversubscribed virtually all the intake is made up of Catholics). This practice is particularly problematic in an area like WP where there is a real shortage of Secondary School places and the majority of non catholic local kids are prevented from going to their nearest school, leaving them with fewer choices of other schools and probably having a longer journey to school than is ideal for a child- it’s absolutely disgusting. Imagine turning it the other way and saying Catholic or Jewish Children are not allowed to go to community school- there would be uproar. Is no one else in WP shocked or angered by this injustice or is it just me???

axlrocky said...

@Anon (use a name!)

Challoner is a faith school and it is your choice to apply or not, they will not stop you going but as a catholic school they are bound to favour catholic candidates. WHy would parents of another faith want their children to go to a school that promises to teach one specific faith if they do not belong to it. Hardly exclusion just common sense - they are not hiding anything and being open and honest in their prospectus.

@Paul - love seeing someone else upset at the cowardice of the Anonymous tag

@Jeff - you are right and wrong in your comment, neither Hitler or Stalin used faith as they basis for war, which made it a non religious war, whilst the two men did have religious leanings, as all people do, even atheists believe in something, even if it is only themselves.

@Nikko - your right but I think Jeff's point wasnt so literal.

@WP Blog - ban anon posters!

@God - we seem to be having a few difficulties in WP can you lend a hand.

@Allah - if your not busy can you wade in too

@Kal-el - if all else fails were turning to you!

The Dutchman said...

@ Anonymous 11:49

*stands and applauds wildly*

Margo said...

I wondered when the catholic school bashing would start.

In response to Anonymous' post - The government actually pays less towards catholic schools than they do towards other state schools. Most state schools are 100% government funded whereas catholic schools are only 80-90% government funded.

I agree that there is a shortage of good secondary schools however, grammar schools are also government funded. Surely they should be encouraged to offer more places to children who live in the borough?

Mrs Richard Dawkins said...

Ok axlrocky, I have a name now. It’s actually not the easiest to post with a name on this blog-e.g. I can't seem to get rid of brackets!- which is perhaps partly why so many end up posting as anon, but point taken.
Anyway you appear to have missed the point. I would like to “choose” this School because it is a good School and is within walking distance- religion is not the only criteria for choosing a School. But you are effectively prevented from “choosing” this School if you are not religious. Of course you can put it down as a choice but as last year 100% of the intake were Christian and over 90% Catholic the odds are pretty miniscule to say the least. This is not just about favouring their religion, it’s about excluding all others. In contrast religious people actually have the greater choice because as well as this school they can still “choose” to apply for other non religious schools that do not discriminate against them in the same way. Incidentally, my Husband went to Richard Challoner, but as neither he nor his parents were practising Catholics or even Christians they lied to get him in. How ironic that the freezing out of local children by religious schools drives people to such non Christian behaviour.

Margo- I agree about Grammar Schools and wasn’t particularly bashing Catholic Schools- all religious selection is as bad- that was just the local example that sprang to mind. You make an interesting point about the funding, so perhaps it would be fair if the proportion of selected children reflected this- i.e. 80-90% local children (which could of course include local Catholics) and the rest Catholics from outside the catchment. This adjustment in selection criteria would help with the WP Schools black hole- for the boys at least, but that’s another issue!

HighlyEvolved said...

@Margo

WOW! ONLY 80-90% government funded... That is still no excuse AT ALL!
For a country of which 39% of which indicated "no religion" on the census and Catholics only make up around 10% of the population. Where on earth does that mean it is justififed to be so heavily funded?
Any selection process based on fairy stories is vile and disgusting, just as much as the teaching of religion as fact within these schools. When does it ever become right to be outrightly lying to impressionable children. Brainwashing pure and simple...

Jeff said...

So Nikko and HighlyEvolved think that Hitler and Stalin were convinced Christians. If they believe that they can convince themselves of anything.

Regardless of how they were brought up both Uncle Joe and AH were convinced atheists. Stalin persecuted Christians and established a 'League of Militant Atheists'. The title does rather give the game away.

I once asked someone who knew Hitler (Diana Mosley) if he had any religious beliefs? She told me they had discussed the subject at length in Berlin and he told her he believed in 'Providence' rather than God. (She didn't believe in God either). So don't tell me to check my facts, Nikko.

Of course, Hitler sometimes spoke in terms that implied he was a Believer but only to keep religious German people on side. Politicians do things like that.

HighlyEvolved says that there have been many wars in the name of religion. Except for the Crusades and Ferdinand and Isabella kicking the Moors out of Spain there are very few if you actually try to think of examples. The Second World War certainly wasn't fought 'in the name of religion' (except maybe for Bishop Bell of Chichester). It was fought in the name of politics, the centuries old British Foreign Policy based on 'the Balance of Power' and because International Finance felt threatened.

Likewise the First World War wasn't fought in the name of religion, it was all about Britain's Foreign Policy based on 'the Balance of Power'. Neither was the Korean War, the Argentinian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Napoleonic Wars and the Boer War to name but... well...most of them actually.

A word of warning to all those Bloggers above who want to ban religion, ban churches, ban mosques and ban faith schools.

Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE you're right about there not being a God? I mean beyond shadow of a doubt? Because if it turned out you were wrong, well, the fact that you don't believe in God isn't going to save you from His anger.
And that means spending eternity in the fire with only scalding hot water to quench your raging thirst. But if you're absolutely certain, no worries then.

The Dutchman said...

@ Anon 11:34pm

Whilst there are some that want to "ban" religion I think the majority are against ANY form of religious discrimination, whether that be pro-Catholic, anti-Muslim or anywhere in between. Religion should be a private matter and not something that governments should be involved in - either to justify war, or exclude children from schools.

You want to believe in firm & brimstone & eternal damnation - well, go ahead, that's entirely your right and I respect your beliefs. But let me ask, if science "proved" that God exist, the majority of the community would accept it as fact and move on. If science "proved" that God did NOT exist, how many of the religious community would be big enough to accept they made a mistake?

axlrocky said...

well done Mr Dawkins for using your name - its tough call schooling always - but is the fact that Challoner is a "good school" in your opinion anything to do with the fact it is a catholic school?

food for thought - would the standards be so high if it wasnt catholic?

WHat makes it different from the area non catholic schools - Hollyfield, SOuthborough, CCC??

I know the answer but its worth asking yourself the question

Anonymous said...

@ Jeff- ha ha, good one. Your last paragraph is a brilliant parody of a far right extremist bible basher. I’m glad I didn’t fall for taking that one seriously “Miss Pelling” style!!

Adrian Short said...

@ Jeff,

Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE there's no such thing as reincarnation? I mean beyond a shadow of a doubt? Because if it turned out you were wrong you've built up quite a bit of bad karma by throwing around bogus threats of hellfire and you're probably coming back as a turkey in Bernard Matthew's back yard.

But if you're absolutely certain, no worries then.

Anonymous said...

wow.. look at the arguments and comments religion/non religion has caused :S

I'm Spartacus said...

I wonder if those so staunchly defending the Catholic schools would be as supportive of a Muslim faith school.

No, I thought not...

HighlyEvolved said...

@Jeff

Please show me where I ever mentioned Stalin was not atheist. He was, there is no doubt about that. But he did what he did because of who he was, not about his lack of belief in a deity. However you are wrong about Hitler, he certainly was no atheist.
"...We have put an end to denial of God and abuse of religion. We owe Providence humble gratitude for not allowing us to lose our battle against the misery of unemployment and for the salvation of the German peasant."
Oh and "providence" that you stated he believed in? You might want to look it up before waving that around...
"In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world"

And I think you are missing the point about the wars. I am simply stating that there have been no wars, no conflicts, no acts of terrorism etc. in the name of atheism. The same cannot be said for religion.

And as for not believing in god? Tell me your reasons for not believing in Zeus and the countless other gods that people have worshipped and you have your answer in front of you.
You are nearly as much of an atheist as I am, I just believe in one fewer god out of thousands than you do...

Nikko said...

@Jeff, thanks for your concern, but silly myths don’t worry me; yes, I’m absolutely sure that no evidence of a god or gods has, or will be, found. And, any religion that needs to “encourage” belief with such threats seems to me to be on shaky ground, and loses any credibility (which it didn’t have in the first place, so I guess it doesn’t matter). Are you Your god sounds like a great bloke, are you absolutely you’ve chosen the right one?

I hadn’t realised that Britain had caused both wars; I thought that (amongst other things) the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a fanatic member of a Serbian (religious) gang started WWI and Hitler had something to do with WWII.

As for religious, or religiously influenced, wars, your list seems a bit short, so here are a few more; the 30 years war, the French religious wars (they had plenty), the other European religious wars between 1524 & 1648, various Arab/Israeli wars, the Taiping Rebellion, Cyprus, the Troubles in Ireland, the Conquistadors throughout South America… However, my point was the same as HighlyEvolved’s: war isn’t declared in the name of atheism.

Margo said...

In response to Spartacus - Why do you assume that catholics would have a problem with muslim faith schools? I think from the many posts, it's clear who would object against this.

In response to many others. Some people have religious beliefs others don't, respect should be show by both sides. Some of the posts are shameful - if you have children, is this what you are teaching them? It's not religion that's the problem but the ignorance, intolerance and lack of respect that people now have for one another. Even if religion was banned (as suggested by some), the underlying problem would still be there.

With regards to catholic schools - Whilst the catholic community continue to fund a large proportion then they have the right to set rules just as jewish and C of E schools do. If you have a problem with this then you need to contact your local MP. However the issue that also needs to be raised is why isn't the standard in other state schools as high as that in catholic schools. Money can't be blamed as state schools have higher funding than faith schools, therefore the problem must lie elsewhere.

axlrocky said...

@Nikko

Atheism is a choice, Not voting is a choice, putting anon on blog posts is a choice. Could be right , could be wrong - well all meet up at the pearly gates and someone can go - "I told you so!"

@ Im SPartacus

I for one wouldnt have any problem with a muslim school, I would actually be all for it, my faith school upringing did wonders for my sense of right and wrong and gave me a decent moral stance to start my young adult life with. The choices I make from there are my own and I decided not to continually worship in a conventional go to church on a Sunday manor but I still remember the teachings now and they have influenced me if even subconsciously. Im sure the Imam (sorry if spelt incorrectly) would be very similar in a muslim school teaching a decent moral code.

The Mosque brings other factors into play, logistical and aesthetic mainly rather than fear of radicalism.

Anonymous said...

The basic point is we do not want a Mosque in a suburban ENGLISH town. Same way a Muslim country probably woudln't want loads of C & E or Catholic churches. Lets start to get REAL in this country as it's the only way we are going to get Great Britain back
NO to a mosque that excludes most of the population from attending - they are the ones sectioning others out, they could go to another church...we can't go to theirs so in fact it shojld be illegal....non PC and all that

I'm Spartacus said...

@margo and @axlrocky

So if there was a proposal to convert one of the local primary schools to a Muslim faith school there would be no problems?

I think not.

I have two issues with faith schools.

Firstly, they exclude children from being able to attend their nearest educational establishment based on nothing more solid than their parents' beliefs (or at least the beliefs they pretend to have).

Secondly, they are divisive. They can fragment communities and contribute to racial divisions within a society. The children at my daughter's school have a mix of backgrounds and cultures that you never get at faith schools.

You can argue that grammar schools are exclusive too but this is an exclusivity that is at least based on something relevant to education - the child's abilities. Much as I hate to say it, not all kids can be geniuses. The travesty is that if they aren't, there is very little support for them.

I'm Spartacus said...

Oops. That should have been tragedy, not travesty.

DT said...

To add to this debate, the school I went to was a direct grant grammer school and at that time it received only 55% of its funding from the LEA and had like all such schools had to make up its funds elsewhere. Such schools had the choice of either charging fees or having a/some wealthy benefactor(s), my school was in the latter category, but money was always tight such that some text books were over thirty years old, and when was found that a famous old pupil had doodled over that went off for auction.

But the school was inclusive and though nominally Christian (in the sense that the daily compulsory act of worship was Christian) the other major religous groups either had their own act of worship (if sufficient in number, in my time only the Jews met that criteria) or in the case of aethist and agnostics and minor religious groups were gathered together for philosophical discussions.

Selection was on the basis of ability and that at least 13 of the school came from the four local parishes and preference also being given to members of the sponsoring guild, with the longest distance travelled in my time being about 20 miles.

The point being that pupils were selected on quantifiable criteria and not on criteria that easy to fabricate, many parents have been known to undergo conversions to a faith for a few years before the child reaches secondary school age only to lapse once they are in, or the practice of buying a property in a good schools catchement area. Are these good criteria.

Margo, makes a very good point in that exclusivity narrows the pupils viewpoint no end, far better to have inclusivity so the pupils is exposed to many religions and people of rich and poor backgrounds and many different ethnic groups.

HighlyEvolved said...

@Margo

Why SHOULD we be showing tolerance to religious people?
I'm willing to bet that if somebody told you they had been abducted by aliens you would treat them like a loony.

If they told you they thought that the world was created around 4 hours ago you would not take them seriously.

What if your political leaders, people making life changing decisions announced that he believed in fairies and that all decisions he has made were made on advice given to him by his personal fairies. There would be outrage.

Why should an invisible sky wizard and zombie be treated any differently to leprechauns and ghosts? They are one and the same... fictitious fabrications that have no place in today's world.

Nikko said...

@axlrocky: how is atheism a choice? Atheism is a lack of belief in a god or gods. This is often based on rational analysis of the evidence available. No evidence = no god(s), so no choice.

Jeff said...

Sorry if I'm getting the postings of HighlyEvolved and Nikko mixed up. But one of you seems to believe that Hitler was a devout Christian. Whoever, you're entitled to your opinion. But I remain unconvinced.

What I object to is the repetition of the old cliche that most wars are caused by religion. Or words to that effect. The problem is, repeating that hoary old chestnut lets the real culprits off the hook. The real culprits, of course, are politicians.

One example will suffice: the Iraq War to which most Brits were opposed. It wasn't started by the Archbishop of Canterbury, bless him. It was started by George W Bush and Tony Blair. Both politicians, see.

Regarding Nikko's comment about me repeating silly myths and divine threats, did you see that TV debate about 9 months ago between Tony Blair and a 'Humanist' on the subject 'Does God exist?' Blair was arguing For and although he's not my favourite person on this occasion he excelled and won the debate.

I only mention it, Nikko, because of the sequal. 6 weeks later BBC News announced that the Humanist who had ridiculed the existence of God had been diagnosed with cancer of the mouth and throat. If you're absolutely sure that was a coincidence, no worries.

All those people in postings above who want to ban all religion really must think things through. You'd need an army of extra police and snoopers to enforce the ban, you know, make sure nobody was having an illegal look at the Bible or Qu'uran or saying their prayers in secret. For example, anybody caught kneeling by their bed late at night would have to prove they were looking for a contact lens or engaged in some form of foreplay.

Mrs Richard Dawkins said...

Axlrocky and Margo. An interesting question about why faith schools often do better and one I suspect has complex answers, so apologies for the length of post. It’s certainly not likely that the religious are on average more intelligent as Jeff’s comments demonstrate! In my view it’s probably down to a subtle form of social selection and exclusion. In general “rough” families that are more likely to have children with behavioural problems and low acaedemic ability also tend to be non religious, which means that problem kids tend to be filtered out. I do acknowledge that religious families are likely to be stable and supportive with stronger discipline and a good work ethic so selecting children predominantly from these families will contribute to a good school environment and high educational performance in religious schools. However, you should not be so arrogant as to assume that these qualities are in any way exclusive to the religious- there are plenty of non religious families that provide these values and it is perfectly possible for non religious Schools to have these values also.

The problem is that after selection by grammar and religious schools you get a higher proportion of problem kids concentrated in the remaining community schools and this inevitably affects performance. Basically the education system in London is an unfair and socially divisive mess that can benefit “the selected” very well but disadvantages the rest. It particularly annoys me that religious people seem to smugly believe that good performance actually confirms that religious education is superior in itself without recognising that they are merely the beneficiaries in a flawed education system. It is understandable that the religious community wishes, albeit a bit selfishly, to maintain this special privilege that allows them to separate their offspring from rest of society. But still no one has managed to justify why the principle of selection/ discrmination on religious grounds is morally acceptable.

Going back to the local issue, the main problem in Worcester Park is a lack of local School places because so many of the nearest schools are selective and exclude local children. So what’s the solution? A new inclusive community School in WP would be great but given that is not likely, the best answer I can see is to force the existing selective schools to accept more local children.

Nikko said...

@Jeff, I didn’t see the Blair/humanist debate, but you aren’t by any chance confusing it with the Blair/Hitchens debate on “Is Religion a Force for Good in the World”, (which also happened 9 months ago) are you? If you are then, a) Hitchens already had cancer and b) Hitchens won the debate with 68% of the vote.

Whether you’re confusing the debates or not, your message seems to be that those that don’t believe in, or speak out against, god, will get cancer. What a nasty, spiteful god you follow Jeff. And to be honest, I’m surprised at you, because although I don’t agree with all of your posts, (obviously), they normally come across as well reasoned and balanced; for example your post of 26th Aug I thought was very good. So it’s a shame that you resort to such ridiculous threats against non-believers.

HighlyEvolved said...

@Jeff

I believe the "humanist" to which you refer is Christopher Hitchens, one of the so called "four horsemen" of new atheism (along with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet and Sam Harris). In what way did Blair win that debate, he simply repeated the same old rubbish that comes out in any religious debate, he was unable to properly back up any points he made and had not a single shred of evidence for his outlandish claims.

As for Hitching's cancer, no it is not a co-incidence. He was an extremely heavy drinker and smoker so it isn't too much of a surprise. Abusing your body like that does that to a person, the research is well documented. That is the reason, not "god dunnit".

And you also just shot yourself in the foot. You claim that religion isn't involved in modern wars as the archbishop didn't instigate Iraq.
If I remember, Blair said that "God would judge him" for his decisions involving the war and Bush once said he was on a "mission from god". How much more explicit do you want it?

Mrs Richard Dawkins said...

Oh dear Jeff, the god you believe in sounds nasty and vengeful. I hope for your sake you continue to believe until the day you die and you don’t wake up one day and realise that your beliefs are based on a lie and you’ve wasted your life living in fear.

As for the debate, are you talking about the one between Blair and Christopher Hitchens? I heard this on Radio 4 some time ago and thought Blair came across as nervous and his argument was weak and unconvincing. But perhaps that reflects that people interpret debates with a bias towards their own viewpoint. By the way, Hitchens was a heavy smoker and drinker, so I suspect that it was the gods of science and nature that struck him down.

Jeff said...

The trouble with all you liberals (who probably went to university) is that you think that to be valid God should be made in your own image. Well, it doesn't work like that so better get measured for your asbestos suits.

One of Mrs Dawkins reasons for closing religious schools (31 Aug post) seems to be that it would reduce the distance she has to walk her children to school. Heaven forbid she should have to walk further than necessary.

She also appears to think that non-believers have a higher intelligence than believers who have a lower intelligence (2 Sept post) and cites me as a prime example of the latter. In fact, research carried out at the Sorbonne in France in 1993 by Felix Basle found that those who believe had a 4.7% higher IQ than those who don't. Of course, this is an average so there are many exceptions and some non-believers will have a high IQ, like Mrs Dawkins, whilst some believers of whom I am clearly one will have a very low IQ.

The study also found that people who go to religious schools are almost 35% less likely to commit Category I, II and III crimes than people who went to non-religious schools.

Bearing in mind the rioting and looting in August I think this is a strong reason for making religious schools COMPULSORY for all children (regardless of how far they have to walk to school) with heavy penalties for parents who are non-compliant.

I may be as thick as two very short planks, Mrs Dawkins, but you can't deny my logic.

Nikko said...

@Jeff;

Paul Bell in Mensa Magazine, 2002, reviewed all studies taken of religion and IQ. He concluded: "Of 43 studies carried out since 1927 on the relationship between religious belief and one's intelligence and/or educational level, all but four found an inverse connection. That is, the higher one's intelligence or education level, the less one is likely to be religious or hold "beliefs" of any kind."

In Helmuth Nyborg’s 2008 study of IQ Atheists “scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions.”

Both of these are easier to find on the internet than Felix Basle’s study you mention.

And now you want atheists to die of asbestosis? Charming. You were keen to remind Nichu (who’s only “crime” was to compile a list of not wanted in Worcester Park) “that religious tolerance became law in this country more than 150 years ago and for a very good reason?”. Whatever happened to that tolerance Jeff?

Btw, I didn’t go to university and don’t really consider myself a liberal.

Mrs Richard Dawkins said...

I’m sorry Jeff, it was a cheap shot. You are clearly not thick, which in some ways makes your extremist views more alarming. But perhaps you are just attempting a wind up as suggested by someone above.

As regards forcing all kids to religious school- well at least then there would be no 2 tier system that discriminates against one part of society. If religious schools are using different educational methods that are proven to work then I’m not necessarily opposed to extending this equally to all children, but as I point out above I suspect it is the fact that they are able to select in the first place that is the primary factor in their success. And yes, I do think older children should be able to walk themselves to school. The fact that many now live beyond reasonable walking distance is a big part of why kids are getting increasing podgy and the traffic congestion is so awful in term time.

As for going to University, guilty as charged and I managed to get there having been to a bog standard comp too! I didn’t realise that was something to be ashamed of nowadays. Liberal? I would have thought it was considered liberal and PC to allow any minority religious group the right to their own school- it appears to be you who favours that.

DT said...

Jeff, the problem with IQ tests is that they afien reveal as much about the people setting them. I remember in a statistics course at University, an IQ test carried out in America in the 1940s which clearly showed that the IQ of rural kids was significantly lower than town kids, this was accepted as gospel until the early 50s, when a group of researchers noticed that there was particular questions they scored badly on. One in particular, which was a set of pictures that they testee had to write under what it was, the rural kids fared very badly on. It was a group of farm animals, rural kids not knowing what a cow was?

So they repeated the study using the same questions on a group of rural kids, again they had problems with that question, so they asked the kids, and they got answers for the cow such as well it looks like a fresian but it isn't right the ... are in the wrong place. Rural kids wouldn't answer just cow they wanted to give the breed as well.

That is the issue with all IQ tests they show cultural bias, I haven't been able to find the study you quote, but I put it to you, if the test was perhaps weighted with religious questions, e.g. strike out the one who didn't write a gospel, Matthew, Peter, Mark, John. The majority of the readers of this blog would get the right answer, a few would know there is no right answer, which brings up the other major issue with IQ tests, those that think naturally with NULL-A logic, perform badly relative to their IQ assesed by interview, as they will often see more than one right answer and so struggle.

The general reason given for selective schools doing better is that they tend to have better pupil to teacher ratios.

Jeff said...

That's O.K. Mrs Dawkins, there's still plenty of time for your original view to be proved right.

Nikko, those guys at Mensa aren't as smart as they think. If they believe atheists have a higher IQ than believers, how do they explain arch-atheist Christopher Hitchens smoking and drinking so heavily he developed cancer whilst still in his atheistic prime? That doesn't seem to make him a very clever high-IQ sort of person at all, specially as he believes this is as good as it gets and the last gasp is followed by the Big Nothing.

Let's hope modern medical science helps him to recover and he lives a full life span.

The real question is: How does a handful of space dust turn into a beautiful Sunflower in only 3 trillion years? Darwin explained the mechanical process of evolution to higher forms but it must have taken a lot of coincidences and good luck without some all-powerful driving force behind it.

Perhaps the nearest thing we'll get to 'scientific proof' that God exists is if it could be proved there was an after-life. I'll give you the short version.

30 years ago I went to see a clairvoyant at the London College of Psychic Studies. That's about as resepectable as clairvoyants get. This guy didn't know me from Adam and at £5 an hour he wasn't employing a team of private investigators.

So he says "There's somebody here called George, he was your uncle". So I'm thinking, if this guy's smart he knows that one generation above me George was a popular name so he knows it's highly likely I'll have an Uncle George.

But then he says: "Your Uncle George had a glass eye".

WOW! Phew!!! That really blew me away.

That's all on this subject, I'm getting bored now.

coffee man said...

This is all getting so booooring and intellectual .Lets leave religion alone and get onto something that really affects the coffee drinkers of Worcester Park. Why are push chairs and run around children spoiling a quite drink of coffee and Danish,whilst reading the free papers in Costa coffee. Thats far more important,with implications on Human Rights and Health & Safety.

Sarah Palin said...

Hey Jeff, don't stop honey, I was getting some good policy tips there. By the way d'ya know anything about gun control? I could do with some help with those pesky liberals.

Clean up our High Street said...

I agree, let us get back to the important issues regarding Worcester Park such as when are Sutton Council going to serve some sort of enforcement notice on the owner of the former premises of Drury and Cole to clean it up instead of letting it decay even further?

Rick said...

I’d certainly like to know what type of education Andy received, given his perverse sense of reality. I wonder what twisted logical path he’s followed to deduce that a surreptitious mosque can in any way be adding to the community, being as the entire community is completely excluded from it and from learning about it?

However can any illicit establishment, falsely claimed not to exist, with its web pages ineptly removed from public view, ever be judged to be adding anything to that community? [Other than its illegal status contributing to local crime statistics].

Andy protests research is the answer and that residents have failed to pursue it. His distorted judgment has overlooked the obvious - that researching this mosque is impossible! Every attempt to do so has been resolutely prevented by those behind it, who consistently claim the entity simply doesn’t exist? Can Andy really be that thick?

Of particular note, according to the gospel of planet Andy, our concerns over car parking by patrons of an illegally operating mosque are unfounded. He confidently states, “parking wont [sic] get worse”. He judges (somehow), that those who don’t give a monkey’s about planning laws are the same ones committed to respectfully observing parking laws! I wonder what kind of insane rationale he based that conclusion on? … Perhaps it’s best not to know.

Andy “just can’t understand the stagnant attitude most people have”. It’s called democracy, Andy. In a democratic society, change is by consensus, it’s not something forced upon on society by a single individual, because existing laws prevent that individual’s personal ambitions. And because here, unlike other parts of the world, a large gun isn’t a recognised mandate for change!

Since democracy and its ‘small/closed minded nature’ prevents your ambition, book yourself a flight to the Middle East, where you’ll find a rather lower concentration of democracy and (much to your delight), a rather higher concentration of mosques!

Education facilities might be restricted. Here, a schoolgirl got acid thrown in her face because someone ‘interpreted’ that the Koran decrees that girls should not be entitled to an education. Perhaps you will ‘interpret’ that it was her fault, for not embracing change?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo6uRwwnFH0&feature=related

Despite your claim to value education and learning, you haven’t even researched the legend of King Cnut that you quote. His demonstration was actually for the benefit of his ‘change embracing’ courtiers, who advised the King that he could make any change he desired! The King was actually pretty wise and upon their advice, ordered the waves to change direction … and the courtiers looked extremely stupid!

A full millennium of progress, research and education later, and you’re full the same duff advice, considered dim-witted some 1,000 years ago!… “technology as it is these days, ignorance is pretty much inexcusable”… True, but despite that, you still effortlessly managed, it!

“Pure ignorance fuels most of the pig headed comments on here”. That’s exactly what most readers will have thought, as they waded through your ill-informed statements and ill-judged disapproval of your own local community. You’ve certainly given most of KT4 a laugh, with your illogical absurdity and your glaringly hypocritical references to naivety and ignorance.

I suspect you’re actually completely oblivious to the damage you’ve done to the mosque’s avid supporters, who after reading your ridiculous assertions, must now view you as a child born of King Cnut, (but notably without the wisdom), after incurring a liaison with a certain Miss Pelling. All they need now is a similarly deranged endorsement by Colonel Qaddafi and it’s game over!

Next time, before you upload some mindless, ill-tempered assault on local society, ask your 3-year-old daughter to read through your draft comment, and hopefully, her superior insight might just save you and the patrons of the clandestine mosque from some avoidable and unwanted notoriety.

axlrocky said...

longest blog post ever?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get fussy. You people couldn't sustain an M&S and now you have a Poundland. Ha in your NIMBY faces.

Jacey said...

Ah well, Anonymous 6 September, I wonder about the logic to that comment when we have the "up market" Waitrose.Many moons ago when this thread was first started I thought "ah yes, I agree with those" and was shocked by the lack of Anti-anti children comments. I' ve even heard someone ask for a Primark (!!), Wetherspoons etc etc
As a singleton, unfortunately , its noise for me, not just kids, and the shear volume of the pushchairs. And no loud music thanks.
As for the shops, yes its a shame when there are empty shops but find me a town that doesn't have any. Note New Malden and Cheam Village - more and more.
What do we lack in WP? Well, many things but do we want them here? McDonalds - ? - certainly not? More charity shops - better than empty ones? Nail bars - how many women actually get or afford to get them done regularly - I certainly can't! Ditto hairdressers - ditto.
I'm not sure we could support a bookshop when so many people buy for charity shops or on-line. Yes I'd love to see a fish shop, as there was one when I moved here. There were 3 bakers , 3 off-licences , 3florists and 2 butchers I recall. We're all different but I can't undersand how too many people can think of starting a business now. How do independent offlicences do okay when Threshers can't? We have a couple of men's clothes shops but no shop for women.
Yes we have a bakers but either we buy our bread in supermarkets as Greggs is becoming a sausage roll shop, OR the decent home baked bread (as in a stall in Kingston market) is simply too pricey. Really, how many people want to pay £2.50 for a loaf?
So many town centres now are full of estate agents, charity shops, hairdressers and betting shops. Its life.
I like WP as it is. I just wish people would support it and stop putting the place down all the time.

Anonymous said...

Please can we have a NANDOS and please could the Worcester Park pub be bought by Fullers or someone like that and be made into the decent pub it could be! Decent food, drink and clientele. Also rubbish or derelict shops further up central road should be demolished and green space with a nice cafe for example could be created. The HG Wells pub is awesome but a little too far up the road.

BenjyP said...

Its not fair, I have been away and missed the hot topic, especially with the obvious opportunity to troll so many off the idiots on here, as I suspect a few on here are!

What about a Korean/Japanese food place and a Korean food shop that would fill 2 places as well as preventing some of the locals the fearful trek to the evil side of the A3.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with anon 4:57. A nice fullers pub where I can buy a pint of esb and a modern and youthful food/drink social place like giraffe would be just right. Was thinking exactly the same about an open space too: central road is simply too big and has too many shops that people don't want or need. Demolish the old buildings and open the space up. Worcester park has so much potential but we need to attract investors. I'd do a lot more local shopping if there were quality shops and I'd spend more time in the area if there were quality amenities. But for that to happen we need to get rid of the stuff that isn't working and free up space.

We want a decent local said...

I agree, it is well overdue a makeover and better loos and whilst they are about it the decent food they served when they had the refurbishment many moons ago. Judging by the amount of cars in H G Wells car park the new owners have been successful in their makeover and rebranding the pub. Maybe they could liaise with the current owners of The Worcester Park.

Anonymous said...

Don't know how to put up a comment from scratch so thought I'd add a comment to not wanted!! Has anybody any idea what is going on at the old Gleeson offices at the end of Gander Green Lane. It was teeming with young asian men as I went past today, is it a meeting area? College or what? WOuld be nice to know!!

Possible future use said...

I heard that the new owners were looking to open a Muslim School there but could not get permission. Then squatters moved in and probably wrecked the inside so maybe the men you saw are putting it right and said school is now opening. At least the teachers will have nice clean cars from the car wash underneath!

Magic Dragon said...

To "Anonymous" Tues 13 Sept:
I brought up this question some time back in this 'Unwanted' saga of replies. Be careful, it seems anyone pointing out such an observation is automatically branded a racist or a small-minded little Englander who doesn't want to go with the times. Good luck but expect the worst!

Lord Qaddafi of Worcester Park said...

Magic Dragon, at no point in your comment is there any evidence to suggest you embrace change. You are therefore deemed a small-minded little Englander who doesn't want to go with the times.

I confirm that your name has been added to the bottom of the list of UK based dissenters, so you are somewhere around 56 millionth.

Jeff said...

Meanwhile, the real 'Lord Qaddafi', now clean-shaven and with a spikey haircut, is strongly rumoured to be living incognito with one of his sons (unidentified) in one of those new houses built on school land at the end of Cuddington Avenue (near the roundabout).

You can see them most evenings making merry and knocking back the pinacoladas during Happy Hour at the Gamecock Tavern opposite. I think this part of Cuddington is just inside Worcester Park and therefore relevant.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, the world doesn't come to an end at Worcester Park railway bridge! You all need to GET A LIFE.

Small minded nimby busy bodies, with nothing better to do than whinge on here!

And yes, you aren't in the minority, I know, which is why this place is becoming an utter shitehole!

BenjyP said...

Lord Qaddafi Duck,

Is that supposed to be an intentionally inflammatory post to the fairly liberal members of the UK, perhaps it would have been fairer to say 30 million small minded citizens?

Is you don't think it is, then perhaps it is appropriate to say that you also are small-minded?

Lord Qaddafi, trainee Liberal said...

Anonymous, as you’ve got nothing better to do than whinge on here about those who whinge on here, your empty life is contributing nothing to Worcester Park except carbon emissions. Where you’re concerned, everyone is a ‘nimby’, so if you want to improve the locality, try leaving it.

BenjyPeePee, the population of the UK is about 62 million, but only about 9% the UK’s MPs are Lib Dems. 9% of the population is about 6 million. Therefore the other 56 million might be considered small minded. [I’m sure local Lib Dems could spend millions of pounds of our money to coming up with a similar answer].

If I wanted to write “an intentionally inflammatory post to the fairly liberal members of the UK”, I would have simply reminded them whose idea it was to ditch the Pound for the Euro what a disaster that would have been – exactly as the small-minded majority said it would!

Anonymous said...

I'd like a Korean restaurant so I can walk to it and have a beer with my dinner rather than drive to New Malden.

Did someone REALLY ask for a Nando's Chicken? That has to be a wind up.

Anonymous said...

Unwanted - the total slob of a guy that has motor bikes, cars and a clapped out camper van that should be on the tip at the end of Longfellow road - what gies him the right to have SO many scrap heap vehicles - its a disgrace and he should be ashamed of himself living like that!!

The Dutchman said...

Anon 19/9 @ 13:34

Nah, we can't can't have a Korean eatery in WP because it's not English. If we start allowing Johnny Foreigner with his foreign muck in, then it won't be the great country that we all know and love. That's probably what happened to New Malden, allow one restaurant and BOOM, suddenly you can't buy English food anywhere on the High Street.....

Anon 19/9 @ 17:22

Don't start with that dude, he'll come on here and tell you to mind your own business

Wondering where the WP blogger has gone... said...

I'd like to point out that not everyone in Worcester Park is a racial stereotype and made of money.
Religion – I say live and let live but I believe original frustrations about the mosque were around access and parking which we all know is an issue in WP
High-street / restaurants - Have any of you considered that the reason some of these shops don’t survive is because the good people of Worcester Park are feeling the pinch as well? I don’t know about you but I know I am and eating out is a luxury not an option. If this means restaurants close or shops close I’m very sorry but I simply can’t afford to keep the high street trading and I imagine that lots of others feel this way too.
Let’s focus on some happy things, anyone go a community event they’d like to tell us about? Jumble sale, car boot, charity night etc….?

BenjyPP said...

Hey qadaffi, you seem a little confused about being liberal minded and being a Liberal Democrat, but hey ho. Also unless we were in a country that had true proportional representation then your comment would be correct about the 9 percent, but we don't. theoretically but practically impossible 49 percent of the population could have voted for one party and ended up with no seats yet that's the joy of first past the post. Love to all pedants.

Anonymous said...

but stilll....let's stop that slob of a guy at the end of Longfellow.....and some of the gardens in Browning are a disgrace.....if you have a tidyish (I know everyone is busy) home the rest follows!!! Worcester Park would be a nicer place!!

CCnight said...

Mosque, now where was that pig farm.

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