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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Pete M at work BS: No such thing as British... (136* d) RE: BS: No such thing as British... 22 Apr 01

Sadie, The various definitions of 'race' in the context of a descriptor for a sub group of a species is clearly open to discussion depending on one's acedemic background. These however seem concrete and immovable when compared to the concept of 'ethnicity'. I have had to work with information systems which use ethnicity as a descriptor for some time now, as a means of monitoring how well policies serve one group of people as opposed to another, and I have to say that it is in the context of its everyday use, a completey meaningless attribute and the data collected under its banner worthless. It may be a valid and useful construct in say social anthropology, but has been hijacked to point where it is a Chesire cat word, it means what ever whoever is using it at the time wants it to mean. By the way, I would question your assumption that Aussie, Kiwi, Jock etc are derogatory by definition - unless its a Kiwi refereing to an Aussie of course ;-)

As almost everyone has agreed, despite any difference we may have on the definition of 'race' the ascribing of moral, ethical, behavioural or physical/mental attribute to a group based on a spurious and non correlated attribute ie eye colour or normal place of residence IS racist and that is exactly what Cait is guilty of.

On the subject of the four stackers, if memory serves me correctly these were obtained not under lend lease but in exchange for a long term lease to the USN of naval bases in Bermuda. Les is correct in his definition of the qualities required for convoy escorts, and the unsuitablity of these vessels, although their range and depth charge capacity was improved by removal of a boiler. Nonetheless they provided a stopgap.

The 'unofficial' contribution of the USN and US coastguard to convoy escorts prior to the entry of the US into the war is well recognised by anyone who is interested in naval affairs. The great shame (in both senses of the word) is that once war was declared by the US, the USN hierarchy forgot or ignored everything learned in the previous years and refused to institute convoys or enforce a black out on coastal towns as "it would affect business" and thousands of merchant seamen survived the crossing of the Atlantic only to die within sight of the US ports.

Pete M

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