If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 11 July 2009

I should cocoa!

Spotted this in this morning's Times:

White parents are pulling their children out of schools where they are outnumbered by ethnic-minority pupils, according to a report that shows increasing segregation in Britain.

The Institute of Community Cohesion (iCoCo) studied 13 areas, including Bristol, Bolton, Sunderland and Blackburn, and questioned parents.

Middle-class parents — who are usually white — were removing children from schools with growing populations of ethnic minorities because they didn’t want them to stand out, the authors of the report said.

WTF??? I didn't know we had an Institute for Community Cohesion, although I should have guessed that something of the kind must exist - jobs for the Righteous boys (and girls). But who the fuckity fuck dreamed up that name? iCoCo - do they expect to be taken seriously?


1. It makes me think of "I should cocoa", which, for those not familiar with the phrase, is an old-fashioned British way of saying "not bloody likely."

2. It contains, phonetically at least, the word 'cocoa', which has a kind of comic force of its own, reminding one of bedtimes and fluffy pyjamas and teddy bears.

3. It contains InterCaps, which is the lazy tosser's way of making a dull word look interesting - see CompuServe, MasterCard, EastEnders, PowerPoint. See, it comes from computing, so it shows were are edgy, modern and switched on. (Technically speaking, it's actually called CamelCase, from the bumpy appearance - and the two Cs would seem it make it a perfect Bactrian, but InterCaps is a generic term.)

4. It manages to start with an initial
lower-case letter 'i', which allows it to share the cutting edge neon-lit technoglow of the iPod, iTunes and so on.

In short, it's risible and crap, and was probably invented by the teenage son of a Labour back-bencher on work experience.

A quick search of the Charities' Commision website suggests that it is not a charity (I immediately suspected it was one of the growing number of 'fake charities'). It describes itself as

"a not for profit partnership, which aims to build capacity at all levels and in all local and national agencies to promote community cohesion."

Why am I not surprised that in 2009 it is thought that we need yet another bloody quango to make us talk to each other, say 'Hi' in the street, and not burn each others' houses down? I see they are promoting The Big Lunch, which appears to be what we used to do all by ourselves (remember the Silver Jubilee in 1977?) but now we need to be cajoled and prodded and monitored by an 'official' organisation. And I bet someone has a set of ambitious but achieveable targets to meet over local participation.

"Nick Johnston, one of the authors and a policy director at the iCoCo, said that parents did not want their child to be odd ones out. “People don’t mind a diverse school but what they do mind is their kid being in a visible minority."

I beg to disagree, Nick. People seem to mind diversity very much and are voting with their feet.

File under "waste of time", "waste of money" and "leave us alone, you interfering tossers."

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