Friday, September 24, 2004

Oxygen of Publicity

Squander and Dumb Jon take issue with my recent fatwa against the Eugene Anderson video.

To Squander "the Western world is full of people who still haven't got the message" and to Jon "some folks won't get it until they actually see the Religion of Peace in action".

Alas I agree with Squander's commentator Gary. Although Jon may be right in thinking that the execution footage shown on prime time news might shock a few guardianistas out of their complacency, the people looking for this video are "FHM types who pore through the telephone sex line ads later. It's a completely different audience."

Where Jon does hit the mark is when he says "It is entirely fair to say that the media is acting as a willing accomplice to the killers. Of course, a less cooperative media might not mean less violence, but a media prepared to devote air time and column inches to passing on enemy propaganda in time of war can hardly be said to be discouraging further acts of terrorism."

Listen to this BBC Today item (RealAudio) - one of the few occasions where I find myself agreeing with the Guardian's Peter Preston. The Brit media - including the Sun, Mail and Telegraph are treating this as a massive human interest story with lots of thrilling political overtones. They aren't taking this war seriously.

Blanket media coverage is exactly what the bad guys want and exactly what we shouldn't give them. For the last week the issue and its spin-offs (Islamophobia again - and again and again, 'it's all Blair's fault' again and again) have dominated the papers and BBC. If there's any rationality among the kidnappers I can see the poor guy being kept alive for just as long as they can keep the front pages. On present form they could take a finger at a time and dominate the news till Christmas.

Yesterdays Indie front page was basically 'I've been unjustly imprisoned in Blair's fascist state - and even I think you should release him'. This morning's R4 'Broadcasting House' was jointly presented from Liverpool and Zarquawi's home town in Jordan. Plenty of room in such coverage for 'it's terrible, but what about the Palestinians', 'it's terrible, but what about the people bombed by America/Abu Ghraib prisoners/Bush's war for oil/poodle Blair/Hutton report'.

We even get to hear that the righteously angry 'Iraqis are fighting to get all foreigners out of their country'. Funny - British people who campaign legally to stop foreign immigration into the UK are called Nazis and should be 'duffed up'. People who saw foreigners' heads off are 'the resistance'. Where's Zarquawi from again ?

There is only one scenario where we should be giving the kidnappers exactly what they want and keeping the front pages full - if an intelligence-gathering operation with a reasonable chance of success is trying to pinpoint the hostage, or if somewhere in Baghdad half a dozen Arabic-speaking SAS are inching their way towards him while Britain tries to give them enough time.

Very Witty ...

Chav fever has spread to Argos' database administrators. The chav (or 'burberry ape') is fond of the Argos jewellery range. To make things easier for them ...

Hat-tip - the Godless, foul-mouthed infidels at b3ta.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Islamophobia In Action

A police officer who drove off after a car crash leaving two women and a child injured has been told he can keep his job, it emerged today.

Pc Tariq Mahmood of Greater Manchester Police, who was driving without insurance, tried to persuade his girlfriend and sister to lie for him in an attempt to cover his tracks.

At a hearing at Bolton Magistrates’ Court in March, the 30-year-old officer was fined £200 for failing to stop, £200 for driving without insurance and £175 for not reporting the accident.

He was banned from driving for a year.

Pc Mahmood blamed his behaviour on the trauma he suffered after the murder of his mother more than three years before the crash.

Must have kept him on for his batting.

Strangely, a few people seem a bit miffed by the decision.

And via Dhimmi Watch, a fascinating discussion at Muslim News on British identity.

Guardianistas seem pretty thin on the ground round these parts.

Dr Navidul Haq Khan, what alot of rubbish!! i shall remind u what being a British means...
1 Personal Freedom e.g Muslim girls should be free to date or marry non-Muslims?
2 Freedom of Expression-the Western media should be free to slander the Prophet (saw)
3 Sexual Freedom- Muslim youth should be free to express their sexuality anyway they choose?..& Muslim men should be free to commit adultery with women who consent?
Who can say there is no conflict with being British and Muslim??

Ramzan Haneef, Dundee, United Kingdom


aslam i am only muslim born in britain not a british muslim and i only go by the sharia not by the so called freedom that democrcy says aslam naveed
naveed, glasgow, United Kingdom

But you've got to have some sympathy with this guy's views (apart from the fish and chip bit of course. And if the Stag's Head serves the best beer in the world).

muhammed, bolton, United Kingdom

I don't know if the Guardianistas realise they're filling Britain with several million Theodore Dalrymples.

I Almost Forgot ...

What would William Blake have made of Popetown ? He may not have written this about it, but it 'illustrates a wider truth' Piers Morgan, Greg Dyke, Dan Rather).

I saw a chapel all of gold
That none did dare to enter in,
And many weeping stood without,
Weeping, mourning, worshipping.

I saw a serpent rise between
The white pillars of the door,
And he forc'd and forc'd and forc'd,
Down the golden hinges tore,

And along the pavement sweet,
Set with pearls & rubies bright,
All his slimy length he drew,
Till upon the altar white

Vomiting his poison out
On the Bread and on the Wine.
So I turn'd into a sty,
And laid me down among the swine.

Catholophobia ?

The BBC is dropping its projected cartoon comedy 'Popetown' about the Vatican. Work continues on 'Mullahtown', about Mecca. Only joking.

Stand by for a wave of protest from the usual suspects.

The liberal media distinguish between two kinds of Catholics - first those who care about abortion, euthanasia, God, etc. Usually the words 'mediaeval' and 'obscurantist' are not far away when writing of them. Characterised by oppression of women, homophobia etc. The late Cardinal Winning, peace be upon him, was such a Catholic.

The other variety have the characteristics of both oppressed victims - therefore wholly to be supported - and armed killers - therefore romantic and sexy in a culture where public (i.e. state) violence is condemned and private violence glorified.

BBC Radio news is currently describing murdered Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane as 'the Catholic solicitor', as if that is what defined him and why he was shot. The Amnesty website has described him in the past as a 'human rights defender'.

Finucane had three brothers in the IRA, one of whom was killed 'in action'. That of course is no proof that he was in the IRA. He might have been a straight lawyer. Read what repentant ex-Provo murderer (and ex-IRA Southern Command boss) Sean O'Callaghan thinks on that.

Of course Finucane should not have been murdered, and if it is proved that anyone played a role in that murder they should pay the price. But he was not the blameless, innocent "human rights" lawyer beloved of nationalist Ireland and the quasi-liberal chattering classes in the United Kingdom.

When an IRA member was arrested, the first person to gain access to him was usually a solicitor. The organisation on the outside was often desperate to discover if the prisoner had made any statements incriminating himself or others, had provided information on arms dumps or future IRA operations or even had been turned by the security forces.

This was where an individual solicitor such as Finucane was invaluable to the organisation. He was different to many other lawyers who held strong political views. The renowned Belfast solicitor Paddy McCrory was undoubtedly a staunch republican, but he was a constitutionalist who demanded the highest standards from the state and never believed that the law was a weapon to be exploited by a terrorist organisation.

Pat Finucane was first and foremost an IRA volunteer, and he exploited his position ruthlessly to wage his war on the state. In Crumlin Road, I once explained to him that I had admitted the attempted murder of a UVF member from Portadown and went into some detail.

When I finished he looked at me with contempt on his face: "And after all that, you missed him." Hardly what you would expect to hear from a peace-loving man who believed in the primacy of law.

Finucane's family have been awarded £500,000 by the government. That's what they call 'public spending'. The families of IRA victims get maybe £5,000.

Fake But Accurate

It only took a couple of weeks for the Guardian to correct the 'Bush memos' story. Even the BBC were faster (5 days), though stealth editing makes it harder to spot.

UPDATE - Scott Campbell corrects me - it only took them one week.

Victor Keegan's piece is pretty straight though.

"Although papers such as the Washington Post were on the case, the retraction would not have happened when it did but for the efforts of an army of bloggers - writers of online journals - in exposing the documents as fraudulent, including some who authoritatively questioned the authenticity of the documents almost as they were released."

Dan Rather's defence appears to be that of Greg Dyke over Andrew Gilligan's dodgy BBC reporting, and Piers Morgan's over the Daily Mirror's fake abuse photos.

"Alright - so the story isn't true. But it illustrates a wider truth."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tough Liberalism

The Lib Dems get tough on crime :

" ... that stops them going out and nicking a car the following Thursday, because they are looking forward to the car mechanic session and the go-karting and they don't have the need to nick the car and go joy-riding."

My kids would like to go karting but can't afford it. How many cars do they have to twoc before they get on the course ?

But that's not all.

"The plan for community justice panels is part of what Mr Oaten calls "tough liberalism" - policies which he says are liberal, effective, but not perceived as weak.

The challenge is to appeal to voters wanting a tough approach on crime while keeping support from those preferring a liberal stance.

Mr Oaten told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the idea of recruiting residents of estates or parishes to the panels was a "tough option" against offenders. "

The panels to consist of ordinary people from all walks of the community. A typical panel might comprise:

3 social workers
1 anti-racist smoking cessation co-ordinator
2 probation officers
1 Church of England vicar (female)
1 outreach co-ordinator
1 mental health issues researcher
1 BBC employee
2 disability rights champions

At least one member of the panel to be respectively
a) minority ethnic (visible - no Jews or Poles)
b) gay
c) hopelessly addicted to narcotics
d) mad
e) a believer that the Clash 'really meant something'.

No single member of the panel is to exhibit any more than three of the above.

With policies like this the Lib Dems will sweep to power.

Those were the days ...

On dark days I wonder whether in fact, with all our computing intelligence, our guns and weapons, satellites and lasers, we can win a war against an enemy that, for all his barbarity and bestiality, is united by a vision of something bigger than the individual. They love death, we love life - but what kind of life ? In the post-Christian, post-British era, for most of us our life, our physical existence, is all we've got - so in time of trial we are alone with our pain, our fear. Lose life and all is lost.

It wasn't always so. Multan (now in Pakistan, then part of the Sikh Empire, nominally independent but by then British-controlled), April 1848. Two wounded British oficers, twenty-four years old, are surrounded in their house by a mob, and their Sikh sirdar asks if he can wave a white sheet and sue for mercy.

Patrick Vans Agnew replied 'The time for mercy has gone; let none be asked for. They can kill us two if they like; but we are not the last of the English; thousands of Englishmen will come down here when we are gone, and annihilate (rebel leader Dewan) Mulraj and his soldiers and his fort'.

Vans Agnew was beheaded, Lt. William Anderson hacked to death on his sickbed.

Inside nine months Multan was stormed and retaken, the bodies of the offcers reinterred with honours in Mulraj's citadel, Dewan Mulraj led away in chains to life imprisonment. It is thought he inspired the figure of the prisoner Khem Singh in Kipling's 'On The City Wall'.

Info : Charles Allen's wonderful Soldier Sahibs

Cat Put Down In Maine

Yusuf Islam - the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens – has been refused entry to the United States because he is a Muslim.

So, without quotes, reports the Black Information Link. The White Information Link was unavailable for comment, but the hideously white Scotsman, using quotes correctly, reports that "a US government source said Islam was refused entry because of fears that he had financially supported the terrorist group Hamas."

In other interviews, Mr Islam claimed that he was 'being followed by a CIA shadow'. Asked by a female reporter what he thought of the ban, he lapsed into street argot, saying, 'My lady, da ban vile !'.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"The demand out there is enormous"

A record day for hits on this site, unfortunately - as over 250 French, Italian and German Google users find me while looking for 'Eugene Armstrong decapitation video'.

A message for such visitors.

Allez, insérer votre tête dans le cul d'un ours mort !

Vada, inserire la vostra testa nel cul dell'orso guasto!

Gehen Sie Ihren Kopf im Arsch eines toten Bären einsetzen !

Much to my surprise, I stumble across a link to said video via one of Labour MP (and newly promoted whip - congrats) Tom Watson's links, of all people. The (nameless) blogger presents this justification for the link, which I have not followed. I presume it's genuine from the comments boxes, though.

"The ins and outs of publishing this type of information have been argued before, but I still believe people have a right to choose, should they wish to watch these videos. And the demand out there is enormous."

Exactly the same could be said of child pornography or rape videos. Why should a snuff video be different ? And the arguments against them are the same. These videos are made to be consumed. Given the difficulty of cutting supply, you must cut demand.

The blogger should cut his link. Failing that, Tom Watson should cut his.

UPDATE - Tom has mailed and will be doing the decent thing. No-one likes censorship, but snuff vids go beyond free speech as far as I'm concerned. And if these guys are making them for the world to view, the less the world views them the better.

Darfur Update

From the Scotsman.

African Union soldiers yesterday accused the Sudanese government of brazenly breaching the ceasefire in the Darfur region and continuing to attack villages with a contemptuous disregard for the presence of peace monitors.

AU peacekeepers claim the situation is "falling apart" in Darfur, with the Sudanese not complying with the ceasefire demands.

Never again, scar on conscience of world, etc etc

UPDATE - Mick Hartley has more.

BBC again ...

As we wait for news of kidnapped Briton Ken Bigley, the BBC website asks what our reaction to kidnapping should be.

How should foreign governments and private firms involved in Iraq respond to this spate of kidnappings? Is their first duty the safety of their people? Or is there a wider responsibility to stand firm in the face of brutality and blackmail?

Not an unreasonable question. But look at the answers. Nothing like answering the question. There is an editor/moderator - but you wouldn't know it.

The war is illegal and the Iraqis have the right to resist in any form!
Greenton, London, England

War is illegal as said by Kofi Annan recently. Americans and British should leave Iraq and leave the rest to UN or Iraqi people... America should be straight on Iraq i.e. what it wants - is it Iraqi oil? One should be aware that America has stopped democracy coming up in Iran. Freedom or democracy to Iraqis by Americans is hypocritical.
Suneel, London, UK

My reaction is extreme anger. I marched through the streets of London together with more than 500 thousand people to try and stop the war from happening. With every passing day I do realise how right I and millions of others around the world were in rejecting the war. Britain is a worse country because of it and we all live in fear of retaliation. I live in hope that whenever the next general elections take place, people will know better.
Carlos Cortiglia, London, UK

Tony Blair and George Bush should admit that they got it all wrong and pull out of Iraq. How many more innocent lives should go before they realise?
Rizy, Beeston, UK, Leeds, England

The US has failed in Iraq. It's over and it's time to get out! Who on Earth would argue we should "stay the course?" The course has led only to disaster and it's only going to get worse.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

It was the Americans and the British who turned Iraq into a haven for terrorists. They should now be forced to leave the country, while ensuring that all rebuilding costs are handed to the Americans and British. If they don't want to fit the bill for rebuilding Iraq, they should never have "gone it alone" in the first place. Only after the Americans and British have left Iraq, can peace even begin to come to the country.
Paul G, Toronto, Canada

Sunday, September 19, 2004

'Human rights are easily crushed"

It seems to be open season on the BNP. Following Billy Bragg's call in the Guardian for them to be 'duffed up in the streets', Jeremy Hardy suggested in his BBC radio show that their voters should be 'shot in the back of the head'. Somehow I don't see a Kilroy moment.

Now the Government is considering banning BNP membership in the Civil Service - they are already banned in the Prison Service and police.

But Yasmin Alibhai Brown is prepared to stand up for their rights. (She is talking about BNP members, isn't she ?)
"Human rights are fragile and easily crushed unless we are prepared to ensure them for the people we hate and demand their implementation from people we support and admire." she says. A refrain I've heard for the last thirty years, mostly in relation to murderous Irish Republicanism (who aimed their mainland bombs and bullets at exclusively English targets). Will Liberty, Mike Mansfield and Gareth Peirce leap in to defend BNP members as they have done for republicans and Islamic fundamentalists ? I wouldn't bet the farm.

All public services are bound by law to promote racial equality. There seems no reason why the Civil Service ban shouldn't also apply to the NHS, local councils, teachers, classroom assistants, the Armed Forces, binmen and lollipop ladies - in fact to all those whose wages are paid by the 42% of GNP which Gordon Brown controls.

The Government must be worried by the BNPs last two council election wins. In both Keighley and Barking they got over 50% of the vote.

I blame people who move to Burton Bradstock when they should be 'duffing' in Barking.

The Estate In Capitalist Society

Sunday Times - "David Miliband, the schools minister, and his brother Ed, the chancellor’s economic adviser, are set to avoid paying thousands of pounds in tax through an Inland Revenue loophole which the Labour party pledged to close. "

The Sunday Times has learnt that after Ralph Miliband, the Marxist father of David and Ed, died in 1994, he transferred almost all his assets, including homes in London and Oxfordshire, to his wife.

However, after taking professional advice, the family is understood to have posthumously rewritten his will to give 20% of the London home to both David and Ed.

David has declared a “20% share of family home in London” on the MPs’ register of interests since 2002.

This scheme is called a “deed of variation” and was highlighted by the chancellor in opposition as an unacceptable way in which the wealthy avoid paying death duties.