Thursday, 31 July 2014

Withdraw this appalling poster

The following poster has been issued by the Government.

It is unacceptable victim blaming and should be withdrawn now!

View image on Twitter

Please sign the petition:

Copies of a poster have been sighted on NHS premises as part of the Home Office’s ‘Know your limits’ campaign. The poster reads”one in three reported rapes happens when the victim has been drinking” -- a blatant and appalling case of victim blaming by our own Government, putting the onus on the victim rather than the perpetrator.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sign the Petition Against Hamas

Cross Post from Harry's Place

Marc Goldberg

I think this is a petition worth signing and knowing the readers of HP I’m sure you will too.

When you sign it you will be agreeing to/calling for the following:

Hamas is an internationally recognised terrorist organisation, which is launching missile attacks from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilians and endangering the lives of innocent Palestinians. We call on the UN Human Rights Council to urgently investigate the serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by Hamas, including:

1. Indiscriminately firing missiles at Israel, with the intention to cause maximum death and devastation. These missiles have killed, traumatised and terrorised Israelis. Residents of southern Israel have only 15 seconds to find shelter each time. Hamas has deliberately aimed missiles at an international airport and nuclear installation. Many missiles have fallen inside Gaza, even destroying UN facilities; a rocket strike on an electricity cable cut off power to thousands of Gazans. The Palestinian delegate to the Human Rights Council has said that “each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity”.

2. Using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Hamas has urged Palestinians to scale rooftops, forcing Israel to abort strikes on military targets, and has ordered civilians not to evacuate fighting zones when Israel has urged them to leave for their own safety. Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, has said that Hamas’s strategy is “to force the IDF to kill innocent civilians” as a cynical means of creating international pressure against Israel to stop defending itself.

3. Hijacking civilian infrastructure for terrorist purposes. Hamas has been firing rockets from inside densely populated civilian areas, which UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has called “unacceptable”. Hamas has hidden missiles in civilian facilities, including schools run by UNRWA. Hamas is using the Shifa Hospital as its military headquarters. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said: “We condemn the use of civilian sites — schools, hospitals and other civilian facilities — for military purposes.”

4. Infiltrating Israel through tunnels, intending to commit a massacre or abduct Israelis. Israel has narrowly averted several such infiltration attempts by gunmen, who have attempted to penetrate Israel in order to perpetrate a massive terrorist atrocity in border villages and kibbutzim.

5. Diverting humanitarian aid for military purposes. Hamas has diverted hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete that entered Gaza for civilian purposes, to build a vast network of underground tunnels and missile silos instead of meeting the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population.

6. Using ambulances for military purposes. Hamas has used humanitarian vehicles to carry out military acts and disguise combatants as civilians.

7. Employing child soldiers as suicide bombers. Israeli troops are reported to have been attacked by children as young as 13 wearing explosive belts.

8. Stopping Palestinians from reaching urgent medical assistance. Hamas has prevented civilians from reaching the field hospital that Israel set up at the Erez Crossing to treat injured Palestinians, and it has even fired missiles on this hospital to frustrate attempts to treat them.

Hamas has shown utter contempt and disregard for human life, both Israeli and Palestinian. The UN Human Rights Council must investigate without delay and hold Hamas accountable for its actions in violation of international law.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Facing up to Islamist extremism and imposition

Two stories caught my attention today. The first from the Daily Telegraph was about the "Trojan Horse" plot and ran with the sub-heading: "we must not excuse bigots just because they are Muslim. I thought this was not only an important piece because of it's content, but also because the author, Sarah Khan is herself a Muslim. She writes:

One of the most shocking findings, from both Birmingham City Council’s report and from the Government’s own investigation into the Trojan Horse affair, was the incredulous hate peddling promoted to young children by fundamentalist Muslims who attempted to infiltrate a number of schools. Children had been told not to listen to Christians because they were "all liars"; and how they were "lucky to be Muslims and not ignorant like Christians and Jews." Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn't pray they would "go to hell" and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be "punished" by angels "from dusk to dawn". One of the ringleaders of the Trojan Horse plot told an undercover reporter that “white women have the least amount of morals”, white children were “lazy” and that British people have “colonial blood.”

Sarah outlines her objections:

Let’s be clear. These bigoted views are exactly that – bigoted. As a Muslim I object to those hardliners who aggressively suggest such views are Islamic. They are not. Yet this hate peddling was done in the name of Islam. I have seen over the years how sexist, homophobic and intolerant Muslims deliberately manipulate my faith to justify sexism, homophobia and intolerance to other faith communities. They hide behind the excuse of "Islam", and argue they are within their religious rights to hold such bigoted views – and British society too often acts as if these are the natural rights of all Muslims.

Please read the rest of her excellent article: 

One of a growing handful of voices from within the Muslim community against the hatred peddled by the Islamists who have bullied and hijacked the Muslim community in this country and elsewhere.

Sarah Khan is director of the counter-extremism organisation Inspire.

In other news I was intrigued to read this report from the Gatestone Institute in their latest round up published today that:

On June 17, the Halal Institute of the Junta Islámica de España, a competing Muslim umbrella group based in Córdoba, held a conference aimed at promoting the "normalization of halal" in European countries. The official conference title was: "Possible Similarities and Differences between European Standards Compared with Halal Standards Demanded by the Arab Countries."

Conference attendees called on the Spanish government to sponsor an official study aimed at finding ways to bring European food standards into compliance with Islamic Sharia law.

Now I'm as concerned about food safety as the next person, but complying with Islamic Sharia Law? What the feck is that supposed to mean?

I am not having some wild eyed bunch of religious imbeciles telling me what I can or cannot eat. So this proposal can go take a running jump. Who the hell do these people think they are? Yet another stealthy attempt to impose their religious values on the rest of us.

For fear of being accused of so-called "Islamophobia" I reckon we might have to march under the slogan:

Defend the Bacon Sarnie!

When do want it? Now!

Just don't tell my Rabbi. Oh wait, I don't believe in God(s) so it doesn't matter.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Editorial: Trying to make sense of the world

Each day when I sit down to write a piece for this blog I have to think about which specific issue I should tackle. I am not a reporter and this is not a news site nor is this site associated with any organisation. It simply shares my thoughts for the day,

Like most people I have an opinion, sometimes a very strong view on the terrible things that go on in the world about us. I have no allegiance to any ideology or theology (especially the latter since I am an Atheist). I prefer to be able to read various opinions from across the political spectrum and make my own mind up.

Of course there are some things I refuse to compromise on. The main one and the bottom line for me is the question of basic human rights for all.

I am an individualist and a free thinker who believes in the right of all human beings to live their lives freely and as they please so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same.

I'm sure some pedant will try picking holes in that statement, but for most reasonable minded people my intent is clear. This brings me to the second theme of this blog, opposing political and religious extremism.

If there is one thing that I have learnt over the years the threat to our rights from authoritarian ideologies has not gone away. They simply change from one era to another.

The three main targets of my ire remain Communism, Fascism and Islamism.

What do they share in common?

Anyone who fails to do as they say or be obedient to their ways will face imprisonment or more likely death. All three are murderous in practise whether they try to hide it or not.

Concentration camps and Gulags differ little in practise. The Islamists don't even bother with formalities they just seem to kill on the spot for any alleged slight to their oh so fragile beliefs.

They all remain a threat one way or the other.

From North Korea to the ISIS controlled areas of Iraq and Syria ordinary people suffer the indignity of oppression. On the streets their supporters pose threats through not just terrorism and violence but bullying and more subtle pressure that leads to self censorship or withdrawal of criticism.

Islamists first came to attention with the burning of Salman Rushdies novel The Satanic Verses, and currently the quite psychotic leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un even makes war threats over some second rate comedy called The Interview because he is afraid his Great leader persona will be undermined.

At the same time openly Fascist parties seem to be making a come back in place like France (National Front) and Hungary (Jobbick) along with the rise of ant-Semitic rhetoric in demonstrations ostensibly about Gaza.

The floodgates are full to bursting from the most unsavoury types of bigots.

It is necessary to speak out against these developments.

Standing up for Human Rights, particularly for women and gays as well as Christians and Jews in the Middle East has become the issue of the day,

The Far-Left and the Islamists seem have have reached a conflation of interests over their perceived "anti-Imperialist" agendas, with so many so-called progressives providing political cover for some of the worst bigots around.

Anti-Semitism and the fate of Christian minorities in the Muslim world (and beyond) is ignored and set aside as the comrades and the fundamentalists find common cause.

As such these developments need to be exposed. Their hypocrisy highlighted and expose the suffering of those who do not fit in their twisted agendas from being ignored.

Where have the progressives been during the Syrian civil war? Not one demonstration organised by the usual suspects who jump at the chance to condemn the democracies at every opportunity.

Where were they when the hundreds of school girls were kidnapped by Boko Harem a basically criminal organisation working under the cover of "Islam" who wanted to sell these girls into slavery.

Where are the protests against North Korea the most oppressive nation on Earth?

Where indeed.

Where there is war we should all be calling for peace.

Where there is oppression we should be calling for liberation.

I am just a "lone" blogger speaking out against the enemies of freedom, of human rights and justice.

The world is not a simple place and solutions are not easy. Mistakes will be made. I have and will probably continue to make mistakes, just like everyone else in the political arena. Anyone who denies their errors is a fool or a liar.

Just look at the question of women's rights. The largest "socialist" organisation in this country, the Socialist Workers Party imploded not because something happened, but because they chose political expediency over justice.

These "Trotskyists" claim to represent something different to the political criminals of Stalinism, yet they have been found wanting. Their authoritarianism was exposed to the world.

And it has happened before.

The Workers Revolutionary Party went through the same process in the eighties when their then leader, Gerry Healy had his "activities" exposed.

The far-left have not learnt any lessons at all.

And now they stand alongside Islamists, shouting "Islamophobia" at anyone who dares to criticise some of the followers of this "religion of peace".

Such accusations led to child abuse being ignored and classrooms taken over by bigots seeking to impose an extremely intolerant version of their faith on children.

In such circumstances there is a need to speak out.

Our democracy and that of other countries will always remain in danger precisely because democracy allows such people the right we all take for granted.

Free speech and assembly.

The very rights we would be denied should any of these people achieve power.

We cannot be like them, we have to better than they are.

Nobodies perfect. No society is perfect.

But democracy, human rights and free speech are worth protecting.

That's why I blog.

Join me in this journey. We might not always agree, but the right to disagree without threat to body and liberty is what we should all be standing for.

Rally to stop the Genocide of Christians in the Middle East

The Bible Society in Australia has announced:

Plans have today been announced for a worldwide “Rally to stop the Genocide of Christians in the Middle East” next Saturday, August 2. Called #DemandforAction, the protest movement is planning to centre its attention on the UN, with a rally planned for 10 AM outside the United Nations building in New York, but local rallies are being organised around the world, including one in Martin Place, Sydney.

Symbols to be used at protest include the Nazarene ‘N’ in Arabic (which means Christian). ISIS marked homes in Mosul with this symbol in order to identify Christians who were subject to ISIS’s ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay ‘Jizya’ or die. (Source: Australian Coptic Movement)

The protest will demand, among other things, the United Nations urgently intervene to: 

(i) stop the forced displacement of Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs and other Christians from Mosul and areas controlled by ISIS through the deployment of international peacekeeping forces; 

(ii) set up a ‘safe haven’ protection zone to safeguard those vulnerable communities; and 

(iii) provide immediate on the ground aid and humanitarian assistance to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq and neighbouring regions.

There was a demonstration outside Parliament on Saturday. I will publish details of any action in the UK as soon as I find any details.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

New Posts at Howie's World of Comics

Star Trek Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive

For those of you who fancy reading something a little different I have published a number of new posts at my other blog Howie's World of Comics:

These include:

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes Crossover:

News of a joint publishing venture by Boom! Studios and IDW Publishing involving the casts of both the original Star Trek and Planet of the Apes franchises. Should be fun!

Supreme Returns

Not a well known character outside the world of comic fandom, but a title worth trying (out now)

Fantastic and Terrific: The Odhams line of comics (Part Two)

A look at the first all superhero reprint comics in the 1960's which are fondly remembered by fans who grew up in the era of the rise of Marvel Comics.

Please go to:

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Demonstrate to Save the Christians of Mosul

Photo: Please Join us Tomorrow!


Organised by: Iraqi Christians In Need

In solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters of Mosul, the Eastern Iraqi churches led by the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Toma Dawood, Syrian Catholic Monsignor Nizar Semaan, Chaldean Catholic Father Nadheer, Ancient Church of the East Corepiscopos (Khoury) Fr Dr Khoshaba, Eastern Assyrian Father Tony and others are joining forces together with their communities and supporters from all parts of Britain in a demonstration in London on Saturday 26th July 2014.

Please take a moment to click on the following e-petition:

Hat tipTendance Coatsey

Friday, 25 July 2014

Hamas admit: "we are not looking for peace" ever!

The following video clip should be compulsory viewing for those who try and accuse Israel being the aggressor.

The Algemeiner reports:

Mushir Al Masri, a Hamas MP and media spokesman, told an Arabic-language television interviewer that Hamas has no intention of reaching a long-term truce or a peace agreement with Israel, and would use any lull in fighting to re-arm its troops.

Hamas rejected an early ceasefire proposal from Egypt and its leader Khaled Mashaal, exiled in Doha, has reportedly also nixed a proposal put forward by the Qatari regime, which backs the militant group financially.

Al Masri was asked in the television interview if Hamas had its own ceasefire proposal. He responded, “This is just nonsense of the Zionists and a dream of them to live in peace and calmness for 10 years.”

Oh and by the way:

..the spokesman’s name, Mushir Al Masri, meant, Mushir the Egyptian, who, like many Hamas leaders, actually was not native to Palestine.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Women in danger from Islamists in Iraq

The media has today been reporting that the ISIS terrorist organisation that now controls large areas of Iraq and Syria has issued a "Fatwa" ordering all women between the ages of 11 and 46 to be "circumcised". This brutal practise is known by another name Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and is practised across a swathe of African and some Asian countries.

Indeed the practise is known to go on among some communities, particularly the Somalian in the UK despite its illegality. The "procedure" if it can really be called anything so benign involves:

Includes "the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons"

FGM poses many health risks to women, including severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth.

The United Nations has been calling for an end to this barbaric practise.

There have been denials on social media and the Guardian reports:

One document posted on Twitter suggested it may be a year old and have been issued by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, the group's previous name.

Frankly that doesn't really sound like a denial since that is the organisation that now masquerades under a different name the so-called Islamic State. The criminal Islamists apparently have "zero contact" with the United Nations and have been silent on the issue.

We do know that ISIS has zero tolerance for anyone that isn't themselves and women are considered under even more "moderate" forms of Islam to be "worth half a man".

These criminals have been imposing their brutality on all of those who do not comply and the Metro reported today that a Christian man, a Christian was punished for not fasting on Ramadan by having his lips burnt with a cigarette. Christians have been forcibly converted to Islam on pain of death whilst the majority who come from generations who lived their before Islam was invented and still speak the biblical language of Aramaic have been forced to flee.

Whatever the truth of this edict, women are in obvious danger from this misogynist death cult as are Shia Muslims, Christians and all those who do not follow the groups genocidal ways.

Where are the demonstrations? Where are the protests?

More to the point why does the United Nations not act?

The ISIS criminals are not alone. They have allies. Boko Harem in Nigeria who kidnap young Christian girls and threaten to sell them into slavery whilst using them as their serfs.

They are also allied to Hamas, a fact conveniently forgotten by the anti-imperialist left.

Which is why we do not see protests on the streets.

The fight for women's rights, for basic human rights means standing up to Islamism which the so-called anti-imperialist brigade is totally incapable of. 

Even at home.

The uncovering of Islamist infiltration in our schools has led to the appeasers denying the pernicious influence of these evil men. 

The enforcing of the Hijab is the start.

Mutilation and gender slavery is the end product.

The fight back against Islamism begins here. Now!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Rhubarb Tart

Time for a quick break from the political scene. I misheard the guest announcement for the One Show and though we were to be treated to an appearance by Ami MacDonald the comedienne and was disappointed to find it was some singer I'd long forgotten about....pity.

So off to You Tube I went and whilst viewing a couple of old sketches featuring the wonderful Miss MacDonald (yeah I know my age is starting to show) I came across this little ditty which I though I'd share with you on this warm sunny evening.

From The 1948 show....the Rhubarb Tart Song! (1967)

Oh that's the lady in the middle for you young-uns!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

ISIS begins persecution of religious and ethnic minorites

"We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword," 

ISIS statement

Whilst the world is distracted by the tragedy of flight MHi7 in the Ukraine and the continuing fighting with terrorists in Gaza, the Islamist fanatics of ISIS have begun the "ethnic cleansing" of Christians in its so-called Islamic caliphate that now straddles Iraq and Syria.

The BBC reports:

Islamist militants in Iraq are reported to have seized an ancient monastery near Mosul and expelled the monks.

Local residents said monks at the Mar Behnam monastery were allowed to take only the clothes they were wearing.

The monastery, which dates from the 4th Century, is a major Christian landmark and a place of pilgrimage.

Christians have fled Mosul after the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) told them to convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death.
So much for "no compulsion in religion" as the Koran says in one entry.
This is just latest attack on Christians organised by these clerical fascists. 
In Syria the Irish Times reports:
Syrian threat In Isis-controlled eastern Syria, Christians have fared little better. Last March, the jihadist group announced Christians there must convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death. Churches have been damaged and crosses, paintings and statues burned in Raqqa, a city in Syria’s east. Several Syrian and foreign priests have been kidnapped and killed by jihadists in Syria over the past three years.

Meanwhile the Shia Muslims have fared even worse. They have already begun destroying Shia shrines as reported the Lebanese Daily Star back in February:
..hard-line jihadists destroyed a Sufi Muslim shrine as they advanced on Tal Maaruf village, residents said.

ISIS militants “blew up the shrine, and burned a mosque and a police station,” said Massoud Akko, a Kurdish journalist and native of Hassakeh province, citing residents.

Reports of the execution of Shia prisoners of war shocked the world when first released. Now according to The Times Shias are beginning to be executed inside the ISIS controlled areas.
In a move reminiscent of Nazi Germany, Human Rights Watch reports that:
On July 14, three days before it issued its decree on Christians, ISIS began placing marks on minorities’ properties to designate them as Christian, Shia Shabak, or Shia Turkmen..

The world cannot stand by and let this happen. The persecution of Christians and other minorities must be stopped.
Where are the protests?
Remember ISIS is active in Gaza as allies of Hamas. These evil organisations do not care about human life.
These death cults must be stopped.

Monday, 21 July 2014

BNP Furher Nick Griffin "stands down"

File:Nick Griffin.jpg
Former BNP Furher

The leader of the neo-Nazi British National Party, Nick Griffin was reported as "standing down" by the BNP's own website tonight stating:

Fifteen years after first being elected to lead the British National Party, I stepped aside from the position on Saturday during a meeting of the Executive Council.

Before doing so I appointed Adam Walker as Deputy Leader, with the result that, on my resignation, he immediately became Acting Leader of the BNP, pending the routine leadership election due under our Constitution next year.

The anti-fascist website Hope Not Hate reports:

The British National Party has announced that Nick Griffin has stepped down as party chairman and has handed the position to disgraced teacher and deputy chairman Adam Walker.

Announced on the BNP website earlier today, Griffin will now take up the new role as President of the far right party. What isn't clear at the moment is if Griffin will still hold the reins of power or if he has truly handed over the party to Walker.

With the party on the brink of self destruction, the futures of a number of BNP officials such as Clive Jefferson, Simon Darby, Patrick Harrington and Griffin's daughter Jennifer Matthys also appear to be in some doubt.

Our sources tell us that the BNP will stage manage the handover to Adam Walker, complete with an accompanying video, so expect lots of fake smiles and handshakes.

This is not thought to be a split within the ranks of the BNP and is thought to be a face saving exercise for Nick Griffin. No consultation has taken place with the BNP membership.

The BNP has been in crisis for some time. It has lost all but one of its council seats and Griffin was kicked out of his European Parliamentary seat earlier this year. In every election they have lost ground in due to the rise of UKIP. 

Anti-fascists should not be complacent however as this nasty little organisation remains active.

Keep informed via Hope not Hate and Searchlight

Sunday, 20 July 2014

New blog: Howie's World of Comics launches today!

Marvel Super-Heroes Vol 1 18

Regular readers of Howie's Corner will notice that I have occasionally published not just politically related stories about the world of comic books (see two entries below this week), but have also published reviews of titles that I have read recently.

I have decided that since the latter do not easily fit in what is sometimes a quite controversial blog, that the time has come to take the plunge and launch a separate blog devoted to the hobby of both collecting (and reading) both new and old comics.

So I have been working all week to set up:

Howie's World of Comics

Currently articles include:

Guardians of the Galaxy then and now

New releases: Life after death

Wham! Smash! Pow! The Odhams line of comics (Part One)

Monstrous futures

Archie superheroes to go dark?

Plus of course a general welcome to the new blog

You will also find links to various American and British comic companies. 

Unlike Howie's Corner this will not be a daily blog but will be updated two to three times a week and cover both old and new British and American comics that I hope you will find of interest.

This is purely a hobby site for comics fans both old and new!

Go to:

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Demonstration in London ignores Hamas aggression

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours.

Hamas Covenant article thirteen

photo: Sussex Friends of Israel

The so-called Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised a demonstration in London today which attracted around twenty-thousand participants. Dominated by Islamists and various communist currents any pacifist must have felt out of place on this unsavoury march.

Despite rejecting any cease fire the PSC and the laugably named "Stop" the War Campaign sought to attribute blame for the current crisis on Israel. This despite the evidence that Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel from civilian occupied areas and are themselves responsible for the conflict.

Hamas militants have been using UNWRA (United Nations schools) as store rooms for their weaponry.

In a statement issued on July 17th UNWRA state:

Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations. This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law....

UNRWA has strong, established procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and routine inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes. UNRWA will uphold and further reinforce its procedures.

Such blatant disregard if not contempt for International Law is of course conveniently ignored by the pro-Hamas demonstrators.

What cannot be ignored are the aims of some of the Hamas supporters in the UK. The Times of Israel reported this afternoon: 

At one point, a woman on the podium shouted “from the river to the sea” — a call for the elimination of Israel — and protesters responded by yelling “Palestine will be free.”

Hardly an aspiration for a peaceful solution to the long standing Israel/Palestine conflict.

Until the terrorists of Hamas stop being given cover by what Lenin would have described as "useful fools", the peace process will continue to be undermined.

Hamas are a danger not just to Israel, but the Palestinian people too.

The comrades of the so-called left should wake up and recognise that fact now!

For balance against anti-Israel reporting please go to: Honest Reporting

Friday, 18 July 2014

Singapore bans Archie comic with gay marraige story

Archie comics have long been the cornerstone of a "wholesome" way of life in the United States with their stories of Archie Andrews and the rest of the gang in Riverdale. Like all comics they have changed with the times and one of their more recent innovations was to introduce a major gay character, Kevin Keller.

In this day and age not much to worry about you'd think.

Back in 2012 Entertainment Weekly reported:

The conservative organization One Million Moms wants Toys R Us to stop stocking an Archie comic book that features a gay wedding. In the story, the character Kevin Keller gets hitched to Clay, whom he met in a military hospital after being wounded in the armed services. The marriage occurs in Life With Archie #16, featuring a cover depicting the nuptials, and featuring a banner saying, “Just Married.”

The One Million Moms letter, as quoted in the publishing blog GalleyCat, asserts, “Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand.” It concludes, “Please remove all the same-sex ‘Just Married – Archie’ comic books immediately from your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores depends on it.”

That protest has long been both ignored and forgotten.

Except the authorities in Singapore have now banned the graphic novel collection of the story. the Hollywood Reporter tells us:

Kevin Keller is having a very bad day.

Not only does his best friend, Archie Andrews, die while saving his life in the much-publicized Life With Archie No. 36 released today, but the character’s marriage in the third collection of the series has apparently led to the book quietly being pulled in Singapore.

Singapore-based cartoonist Sonny Liew made the discovery that the third collection in the Archie: The Married Life series was unavailable from local distributor Kinokuniya, despite the availability of the first, second, fourth and fifth volumes in the run. When he contacted the company, he was told that the collection was “deemed to breach the Content Guidelines for Imported Publications, and removed from sale by notice of MDA.” The response added, clearly, “we are not able to sell this title.”

Archie Comics joint CEO Jon Goldwater remains defiant stating:

Riverdale will always be about acceptance, equality and safety,” Goldwater continued. “I’m sad readers in Singapore will miss out on the chance to read such a pivotal moment in comics.

Good for them! Stand up to homophobia!

Archie Comics website:
Meanwhile watch out for an exiting announcement at Howie's Corner this Sunday boys and girls!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Musical Interlude - Mad dogs and Englishmen!

We seem to be in the middle of an English heat wave at the moment, so since I'm a bit short on time this fine evening here's a quick musical interlude with the classic Mad Dogs and Englishmen by the quintessential Englishman himself, the great Noel Coward.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Marxism in crisis and decline

Marxism 2014

The rabid Socialist Workers Party have been boasting about the turnout at their Marxism 2014 bash in their down market tabloid Socialist Worker:

Over 2,600 people attended the event, organised by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). 

Some 166 meetings took place as well as film screenings and other cultural events.

Marxism 2014 began on the day of a 1.4 million-strong public sector strike. Striking workers were welcomed with cheers from the audience at the opening rally on Thursday of last week.

Given the propensity of the SWP to exaggerate their attendance figures this needs to be revised downwards. It certainly sounds down from last year and their previous attendance figures have claimed as many as 8,000 turning up. 

A serious (and welcome) decline.

Whilst most activists on the left, particularly feminists treat the SWP (rightly) as a pariah within the labour and trade union movement, the Socialist Party of England & Wales (SPEW) complain:

Despite the size and influence of the Socialist Party we have never been invited to debate at Marxism. Socialism, by contrast, has hosted debates with the SWP.

Nonetheless, this year, as in previous years, Socialist Party members attended Marxism and attempted to raise our views. It was not easy to do so. In a session on the trade unions the Socialist Party's tactics were explicitly criticised and yet, when our member appealed to be able to answer the points, he was still not called.

Particularly galling for them:

In a session on how to fight Ukip, introduced by SWP national secretary Charlie Kimber, Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party, who sits alongside Kimber on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, was called in to speak but only for two minutes at the end of the discussion after she'd appealed directly to Kimber.

Not exactly comradely is it. Tsk.

Why they act as surprised beats me. In their opening paragraph they actually say:

Marxism does not have a good record for open and democratic discussion.

No comrades and its not just the SWP. History shows that disagreements between Marxists have usually ended in purges, Gulags and worse!

Still never mind you can always hold meetings of your own:

Trade unionists crammed into a pub room for the National Shop Stewards Network's post-demo meeting on 10th July, spilling out on to the pavement.

It's becoming a bit of a tradition for activists after a strike demo in London to come for a drink with the NSSN, talk over the day and discuss 'what next', and have the opportunity to get up on a chair to speak.

Better not 'ave one too many comrades you might fall off yer soap box!

Both cults will be heading off to the pro-Hamas demo organised by their rivals Counterfire via the totally misnamed Stop the War Coalition on Saturday.

If you bump into Tony Collins of Socialist Unity you might want to ask him the meaning of his rather odd statement on their website recently. He shares his wisdom on the current attempt to get Hamas to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza thus:

What would this proposed ceasefire mean in practice? It would mean the existing air attacks by Israel would stop.

Duh, like yeah Sherlock. That would be the consequence.

Your problem is?

In fact that's a question most people should be asking the mix of Communists and Islamists that turn out on Saturday.

No rockets, no retaliation.


Then both Palestinians and Israelis can get on with their lives and move forward to peace and prosperity.

It's not rocket science.

Well not the Hamas version.....

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Time for the "Stop" the War Campaign to peace off

For a short while this morning there was a hope of peace finally breaking out between Israel and the terrorists of Hamas. The BBC reported:

Israel has accepted an Egyptian truce proposal for the conflict with Gaza.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, is still discussing the plan, but its armed wing has rejected it as a "surrender".

Under the terms, the ceasefire should begin immediately, followed by a series of meetings in Cairo with high-level delegations from both sides.

Palestinian officials say at least 192 people have been killed by Israeli air strikes launched eight days ago to stop militants firing rockets into Israel.

There have been no Israeli air strikes into Gaza since the 09:00 ( 06:00 GMT) truce, but Israel says 39 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel after the deadline.

It didn't last long.

Hamas continued to fire rockets refusing to contemplate peace because they think its "surrender", so continue to put innocent Palestinian lives at risk.

The BBC added:

The armed wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, dismissed the initiative, saying its battle with Israel would "increase in ferocity and intensity".

No surprise really.

Hamas are not interested in the welfare of Palestinians because they are not a "liberation" organisation. They are and always have been Islamist extremists with vile anti-Semitic, genocidal tendencies.

Not that you would realise that listening to their demented supporters in the so-called anti-imperialist wing of the far left. The appeasers of the laughingly titled Stop the War Campaign are calling a demonstration on July 19th demanding an "end to the bombing of Gaza".

What they should be calling for is Hamas to stop firing rockets at Israel.

As with the Ukraine and elsewhere the Stop the War types always seem to support the aggressor.

So much for stopping war.

As Shimon Peres said:

"There are two camps. The camp of terror and the camp of peace. Not only here but across the world. This operation is an answer to the camp of terror. The IDF targeted hundreds of rocket launchers, training camps and tunnels. We all wish to lower the flames, we want an end to the fighting and we hope to see it soon. But there can be no compromise with terror. A ceasefire must be on these terms. No more rockets. No more terror.

Many of our neighbours stand with us in this fight. It is a global threat and we must fight it globally. Terror is destroying the fabric of the Arab world, it harms those who allow it as much as those it targets."

Oh and here is what the Egyptian media think of Hamas lest someone tell you this is a "Zionist" point of view!

Monday, 14 July 2014

ISIS make death threats against Muslim comics creator

Despite being embroiled in a war stretching from Northern Syria to the gates of Baghdad, the Jihadist organisation, ISIS, has found time to issue a death threat against Nayef Al-Mutawa. Creator of the superhero comic The 99.

The Kuwait Times reports:

The creator of an Islam inspired popular comic series said that he takes death threats made by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda seriously. Following their recent call to kill former MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, ISIL has called for killing psychiatrist Dr Nayef Al-Mutawa, the creator of ‘The 99’ series as they deemed it slanderous to Islam because it imitates the 99 names of Almighty Allah.

ISIL called in a series of Twitter posts for “[killing] Nayef Al-Mutawa …whoever finds him, kill him, and he will be rewarded”. Mutawa announced in a phone call to Al-Watan daily from the US that he plans to take legal action against those behind the Twitter account which posted the call to assassinate him.

Mutawa defended his “humanitarian artwork”, saying that he received clearance from sharia scholars who told him that the idea and the comics do not contain insults to Almighty Allah or Islam, adding that he would have never went ahead with his project if they did.

ISIL’s tweets appeared earlier this week and called for assassinating Mutawa as soon as possible. “There is no good in us if he remains alive for over three days,” said the call on which both ISIL and Al- Qaeda agreed upon despite their disagreements. “Who can kill Nayef Al- Mutawa who makes fun of Allah’s names?” said another account belonging to ISIL.

However as the paper acknowledges the author remains defiant:

Commenting on the calls on his Twitter account, Mutawa said: “My work has glorified Islam from the US to China for the past ten years. I really do not believe in ISIL and Qaeda…I don’t care about them”.

Good for him I’d say.

Odd thing is he did actually receive the backing of several “scholars” of Islamic Law before going ahead with his project. However his cartoon version of The 99 was banned in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Comic Book Resources reports:

The government of Saudi Arabia has banned the animated adaptation of the comic The 99, saying its representations of Allah’s names and attributes cannot be tolerated.

Based on Islamic concepts but intended by creator Naif Al-Mutawa to promote universal values, the comic features 99 ordinary teenagers and adults from across the globe who become imbued with magical powers. The title and premise refers to the 99 names and attributes of Allah.

According to Dubai’s Gulf News, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta issued its decision in response to a complaint about the series’ broadcast on the Saudi-owned television channel MBC3.

“MBC3 is showing a children’s series about the attributes of God and characters embody each of them,” Sa’ad Hassan Al Shammari said. “The series claims that the union of the 99 characters who allegedly possess pure hearts and extraordinary powers will free the world and ease darkness. I hope that a ban on showing the series will be imposed.”

The seven-member committee agreed, stating, “People who want to teach others about God’s attributes should use legitimate ways.”

Gulf News reports a Kuwait attorney has also filed a lawsuit about The 99, and called for “the arrest of everyone connected with the series and for putting them on trial.”

In response to his critics, Mutawa said he had wanted to “take back Islam” from the militants and create “positive” role models for young Muslims.

In a letter to his sons written in 2009, Mutawa says:

The 99 references the 99 attributes of Allah - generosity, mercy, wisdom and dozens of others not used to describe Islam in the media when you were growing up. But if I am successful, by the time you read this, you will not believe that such an era could have ever existed…..

Unfortunately the rise of Islamist extremism continues and voices of reason within the Muslim world remain under threat from death cultists.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Solicitors reject Sharia

Press release from: One Law for All

The Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority withdraws its endorsement of the Law Society’s discriminatory practice note on Sharia wills.

Southall Black Sisters (SBS) and One Law for All welcomes the decision by the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (SRA), the regulatory body for solicitors, to remove the Law Society’s controversial practice note(1) on drafting ‘Sharia compliant’ wills(2) from its ethics guidance on wills. The decision clearly demonstrates that the SRA considers it inappropriate to continue to endorse the note.

The SRA decision comes after threatened legal action on gender equality grounds and represents an important step in our campaign against the Law Society. On 13 March 2014, the Law Society issued a practice note for solicitors on drafting ‘Sharia’ compliant wills. The note, which was drafted with reference to conservative if not fundamentalist Muslim ‘experts’(3) but not minority women’s organisations, said:

“… illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs…The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir… Non-Muslims may not inherit at all…a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir…”

This appalling institutional endorsement of direct gender and other forms of discrimination has been the subject of threatened legal action against the Law Society itself. We have demanded that the Law Society withdraw its guidance but it has resolutely refused to do so. In an extraordinary show of defiance, in a letter dated 4 June 1014, the Law Society stated that it had no intention of withdrawing the practice note and that ‘no equality and diversity implications’ arose from the note. Since receiving the SRA’s decision we have now written to the Law Society again demanding a reconsideration of their position. We are also taking further legal advice on the question of whether solicitors acting on the practice note might be themselves acting unlawfully.

Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors acting on our behalf said:

“I am surprised that the Law Society considers that it did not have to consult with any women’s organisations or organisations working with Muslim women, despite the fact that there are significant disputes surrounding Sharia succession rules and a wide range of interpretations as to how they should apply. The Law Society should reconsider its position and withdraw the practice note now that the SRA has agreed to remove its own reference to it.”

Pragna Patel of SBS said:

“It beggars belief that the Law Society can see no wrong in issuing such blatantly discriminatory and offensive guidance. It shows a racist and callous disregard for minority women’s struggles for equality and Justice in the face of encroaching illiberal religious power. The Law Society should be encouraging and legitimising an equality and human rights and not Sharia compliant legal culture. We urge the Law Society to remove its practice note which is contributing to the disturbing creation of a culture of ‘Sharia compliant’ law and policy in the UK.”

Maryam Namazie from One Law for All said:

“There is no place for Sharia in Britain's legal system just as there is no place for it anywhere. Sharia - like all religious laws - is based on a dogmatic and regressive philosophy and a warped understanding of the concepts of equality and justice. It is not a rule for equals and has no place in a modern state or system of law. The Law Society must immediately withdraw its shameful guidance."

Saturday, 12 July 2014

A forgotten occupation: Cyprus

File:Cyprus districts named.png
Map: Wikimedia

Forty years ago this month Turkey invaded Northern Cyprus. The BBC archive reminds us:

Thousands of Turkish troops have invaded northern Cyprus after last-minute talks in the Greek capital, Athens, failed to reach a solution.

Tension has been running high in the Mediterranean island since a military coup five days ago in which President Archbishop Makarios, a Greek Cypriot, was deposed.

The coup led to fears among the Turkish Cypriot community that the Greek-backed military rulers would ignore their rights and press for unification for Cyprus with Greece or enosis.

Archbishop Makarios became the republic's first elected president in 1959 only after agreeing to give up plans for a union with Greece.

A Turkish armada of 33 ships, including troop transporters and at least 30 tanks and small landing craft, has landed on the northern coast.

The outcome which remains the case today is:

....Turkish forces advanced to take control of nearly 40% of the island.

About 160,000 Greek Cypriots fled south or were expelled - about 50,000 Turkish Cypriots moved north a year later.

Talks to settle the crisis diplomatically failed. In February 1975, the Turks announced the establishment of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash becoming president. Eight years later they declared themselves an independent state which is recognised only by Turkey.

All this took place in the context of both nations being run by military Juntas. Zaynep G, a Marxist writes:

With the coup d'état of April 21, 1967, Greece entered a dark period under the rule of the Colonels' Junta. When the Junta rejected US requests to use Greek airports during the Arab-Israeli War of 1973, a counter coup d'etat took place on November 25, 1973 against the former junta, which had lost the support of the US. And on July 15, 1974, a fascist coup d'état, led by Sampson, was carried out in Cyprus against the regime of Makarios, which was an attempt to set up a fascist-type administration. But five days after the coup, on July 20, 1974, Turkey invaded the North-Eastern part of the island and on July 23, both juntas in Greece and Cyprus collapsed.

Of course that was then. And the world around has changed. The Junta's are long gone, Communism has collapsed world wide. New threats to world stability have arisen, particularly that of religious fundamentalism has taken its place.

Meanwhile the whole issue of Cyprus has fallen well off the political radar of most, myself included until today when the following was drawn to my attention on Face Book:



The President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom, Peter Droussiotis, today called on British Cypriots and everyone who supports justice and human rights, to voice a collective call for a free, united Cyprus at a rally in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 13th July.

Urging the need for Cypriots to turn out in force to remind the world of the landmark 40th anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus, Mr Droussiotis urged the Cypriot diaspora and friends of the island to make clear to Prime Minister David Cameron and the wider international community the strength of opposition to Turkey’s continuing military occupation.

Read the rest: here

Hat tip: Jonny Paul.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Free jailed Iranian trade union leader Reza Shahabi now

LabourStart Appeal by Eric Lee

Reza Shahabi.

That man in the picture on the right, with his fist clenched, is the treasurer of the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. His name is Reza Shahabi.

Reza has spent the last four years in prison because the Iranian government won't tolerate his trade union activities. He has done nothing illegal. Amnesty International and the International Labor Organization have called for his release.

Reza's health is rapidly failing.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has launched a major new campaign on LabourStart demanding that the Iranian government free Reza now.

Please support the campaign -- click here to send a message of protest to the Iranian government.

And then, please -- share this message, spread the word, and help us build the campaign.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Ballot turnouts & the public sector strike

General strike 1926

The media has been extensively covering the public sector one day strike that took place today. The unions involved are Unison, Unite, GMB, the NUT & PCS. The purpose of the dispute is to draw attention to the low paid workers in the public sector who have suffered not just from pay freezes and more recently a 1% pay rise that gets nowhere near to helping members cope with increasing living costs, but also actual pay cuts resulting from the hiking of pension contributions.

A political "war of words" has already broken out between the unions and the government over not just the numbers involved but the veracity of the action being taken. The largest of the unions involved is Unison which registered a mere 23% turnout for its ballot, one percent less than that of PCS which managed 24%. Much is also being made of the decision by the NUT to launch a strike on the basis of a vote which took place in 2012, some two years ago.

The unions and some of the media have been claiming that this is the largest number of strikers since the General Strike. The generally accepted number of trade unionists who took part in 1926 is around 1.7 million. Most commentators report that today's turnout may be around the 1 million mark.

Certainly there have been large numbers taking part and the coalition government has an interest in playing down the turnout. Sky News reported:

The Cabinet Office issued a statement at 7am saying the action would "achieve nothing" and only a fifth (90,000) of the civil service workforce was out on strike.

How they would have known the turnout at that time of day is any ones guess.  The majority of staff would not be expected to turn up to work until around 8:30/9am. Certainly the turnout is much lower than the PCS leadership would expect but the actual figures are any ones guess given the obvious misinformation provided by Francis Maude's minions.

Even the membership figures quoted by Sky news are questionable. They reported PCS as having 270,000 members when the true figure is closer to 240,000. Additionally only 207,000 ballot papers were issued as the rest of the unions members are not in the public sector. Of those just 36,000 voted for the strike or around 17% of the total figure.

However the number of members who do go on strike is usually more than those who voted yes to strike action. That's always been the case.

Dave Prentis, the General Secretary of Unison was interviewed this morning about turnout and bemoaned the fact members couldn't vote on-line in ballots. Actually in PCS because a "consultative" ballot was held regardless of the "outstanding mandate" from a couple of years back an attempt was made to introduce an on-line element. Frankly it did not seem to have an effect on the overall turnout at all. His other notion that members should be "balloted outside the workplace" is debatable due to the all obvious problem of undue pressure being put on members by some types of activists.

Meanwhile Unite refused to even publish it's turnout, the result of which is only reported on their website as being 68% of those who voted. In the current circumstances not a very helpful stance given the government, or more precisely the Tories are now planning further restrictions and minimum turnouts for unions in strike ballots.

Whilst the right to strike must be maintained in any democratic society, such a right should be used responsibly. 

The real question that needs to be addressed was the one that Dave Prentis highlighted at the beginning of his interview, increasing the participation of the members.

That is a problem for all unions. Len McCluskey highlighted that problem at the recent Unite policy conference. If the unions are to beat of the current challenges then participation by larger numbers of actual members is crucial.

Such participation will depend of unions becoming more representative of their members. Currently some like PCS are activists unions only interested in their own narrow agendas.

Therein lies the challenge for the future.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

How to stop Hamas's terror blitz on Israel

Cross post by Eric Lee

photo: Sussex Friends of Israel

The Islamist terror group Hamas cannot conquer Israel; in fact, it can’t even run the Gaza Strip. Unable to provide anything useful for the Palestinians, it engages in endless and pointless confrontations with Israel.

The local population, cowed by terror, is unable to get rid of these gangsters that rule them.

Israel, though not under existential threat, faces up to 10,000 rockets, hundreds of which have already been fired at it.

Many in Israel and elsewhere have expressed a kind of despair, a “what can you do” attitude. This was reflected in most media, which point to the seemingly endless nature of the conflict, and the lack of leverage now that the USA seems disengaged, and post-Morsi Egypt without any leverage on the Islamists.

Even a temporary cease-fire, let alone a peace agreement, seems impossible.

But I think this is not entirely the case, and I want to make a few comments on a number of ways out — ways to put an end to Hamas’s rocket terrorism.

1. The IDF. The common wisdom says that there is no military solution to terrorism. But this is untrue. Throughout history, terrorist movements have been crushed by superior military force many times. Israel has learned from experience that all steps forward in a peace process are conditional upon its own military strength. Sadat came to Jerusalem and signed the Camp David accord only after the Israeli military inflicted crushing defeats on the Egyptian army in 1967 and again in 1973. Arafat and the PLO finally embraced a two-state solution and recognized Israel in 1988, in a prelude to Oslo, only after the first Palestinian intifada fizzled out. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of military force in ending conflict; it’s an important ingredient in persuading one side (or both) to lay down arms and start talking.

2. The USA. While Secretary of State John Kerry may have left the Middle East without having made any progress on restarting an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, it’s not true that the Obama administration doesn’t care. They do care, as the region seems to be spiralling out of control, and they understand that the US has a strategic interest not only in a strong Israel, but in Hamas’s defeat. And while the USA may have little or no leverage with the Islamists, it has lots of leverage in the region – including Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

3. The Palestinian Authority. This is the key. Mahmoud Abbas has called on Israel to show restraint. What he needs to do is call on Hamas to show restraint. Abbas needs to make it absolutely clear to Hamas that if it wants to be part of the unity government, the condition for that is stopping the rocket terror. (One can argue that Abbas has essentially said this in the past, declaring the newly-formed unity government will respect the Oslo accords and is committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Israel based on a two-state solution.) Abbas is not making this clear, and those who have influence on him (and this includes Israel and the USA) must press him to press his Hamas partners.

4. Iran. The mullahs in Tehran have in recent weeks become the darlings of the West. No longer seen as a nuclear-armed Third Reich aiming to obliterate Israel, the Iranians are now seen as partners in nuclear disarmament and, more important, in stabilizing Iraq in face of the Sunni Islamist threat. In Iraq, Iran, the USA, Israel, and the Kurds are all on the same side in battling the terrorist group now known as Islamic State. The USA and others can use this de facto alliance, and Iran’s desire to appear to be committed to de-escalation in the region, to get Tehran to place a phone all to Gaza and tell their Hamas clients to back down.

5. The Palestinian people. The people of Gaza were terrorized into accepting Hamas rule, and have been silent even as their Hamas rulers have brought down utter destruction upon them. From time to time, when things are relatively quiet, there are signs of unrest, such as the occasional strike by workers. We know from history that sometimes, wars end when a people decides to get rid of the rulers who caused the wars, as happened across Europe in 1918. I’m not expecting a Gazan uprising any time soon, but the conditions for a “Palestinian Spring” exist in widespread disillusionment with the corrupt warlords of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

6. World public opinion. Being outside the region, one often feels powerless to do anything. But actually, the world does have leverage — if not directly on the gangsters running the Islamist groups in Gaza, at least on the Palestinian Authority (which is completely dependent on international support and goodwill) and on Iran, which arms and pays for the terrorist gangs in Gaza. The USA, and to an even larger degree, the countries of the European Union, have real leverage here. They can pressure Abbas and the Iranians to tell Hamas to back down, and should do so.

Stopping Hamas’s rocket blitz against Israel will not be easy.

But a combination of precision military strikes and diplomatic pressure targetting the Palestinian Authority and Iran will work.

In the long run, the Palestinian people themselves will need to stand up and say to the criminal gang that calls itself Hamas — enough is enough.

That day may be a long way off, but it will happen, and when the Palestinians have had enough, there will be peace.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Musical Interlude - Paloma Faith

With everyone fixated by the Brazil vs Germany match, I thought I'd have a quick break and post a musical interlude with this exquisite version of Only Love Can Hurt Like This by the rather talented and wonderfully eccentric Paloma Faith!


Monday, 7 July 2014

WTF: The return of Martin Smith

Dream deferred logo

It's not often I find myself lost for words, but the re-appearance of Martin Smith with a new website did leave me speechless and at a loss at what to say.

But it is him.

Working with someone called Tash Shifrin of whom I've never heard, but seems to have been an activist in Unite Against Fascism.

You can find it here (if you must): there is a Twitter account to go with it:

And they are on Face Book with 90 "Likes".

Wonder if they realise whose "operation" this website is?

It seems to have been around for a while but unnoticed.

Best ignored methinks. 

But be aware (or should that beware) it exists.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Marxism 2014: The SWP's problems just wont go away

Creeping Feminism 

The Socialist Workers Party are busying themselves for their annual "Marxism" bash being held in Central next week, the opening of which coincides with the Public Sector "pay strike" on 10th July. Obviously given their recent (ahem) problems they will be hoping to replace the rather large number of members they have managed to misplace lose as a result of the well publicised "Comrade Delta" affair.

They might have a few problems though. A number of feminists have been busy making sure that the Professor  and his "lynch mob" are not let off the hook by the passage of mere time. 

A twitter campaign by Creeping feminism swp off campus has led to the "cancelling" of the end of Marxism party as they have persuaded all the acts due to appear to err...not do so!

UPDATE: AFTER PARTY HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Well done to the artists for refusing to work with rape apologists!
I suppose Charlie Kimber and the Prof could spin a few records from their record collections instead, though given their ages they'll need to check some of the stuff from the seventies is given a miss.

The Prof seems to be in denial of his party's problems when he writes in the latest issue of  their theoretical journal International Socialism:

One reason why we suffered such a severe crisis was because we take combating sexism so seriously.

Really? I would have thought the exact opposite was the problem.

We were reminded of the attitude of the SWP at time via this tweet:

The full quote "we aren't rape apologists unless we believe all women tell the truth, and guess what some women and children lie" wow

The SWP has no future. Nor should it.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Unite leaves PCS standing at the altar

Not normally being a reader of the dreadful old fashioned Communist, Morning Star  I nearly missed an important announcement from Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite:

UNITE general secretary Len McCluskey poured cold water on plans yesterday to build a super-union with civil servants’ union PCS.

Union leaders have been in talks about PCS joining Unite — in plans that Mr McCluskey explained would be a transfer of undertakings rather than a merger.

But he revealed: “There’ll be no further progress with PCS going into the future.”

Hinting at the reasons for the breakdown, he told delegates “our rules don’t change, our structures don’t change” in any transfer of undertakings.

His comment comes after PCS members insisted they would not throw their lot in with Unite if their subs contributed to Labour Party coffers.

A motion passed at PCS conference in May made a separate political fund for civil servants within Unite.

This was brought to my attention by Madame Janice Godrich, President of the PCS union on the members only Face Book page last night with the comment "disappointed I had to hear this from the Morning Star". 

Yes it does seem a teeny bit contemptuous if that is the case.

The Socialist Party (of which Janice is a leading cadre) have been pushing for a merger (which actually in practise turned out to be a takeover) with Unite for some time. A delegation of Unite dignitaries was present in the conference hall when delegates rejected the Grandees plans and insisted on asking for terms that everyone knew Unite would reject.

According to Dave Vincent (a maverick left-winger) in a letter to the Weekly Worker said delegation stormed out. Whether that's accurate or not certainly would seem to have had a ring of truth to it if Godrich is right and this announcement did indeed come out the blue. Unite obviously isn't prepared to mess about with PCS. They had expected this to be a done deal and in place by September 2015.

No more it would seem. 

One left-wing opponent of the Socialist Party, Bev Laidlaw commented that she had heard this four weeks ago and was told the PCS leadership had been informed. She queried who she should believe?

Who knows?

The PCS NEC had recently met to move forward with the planned Special Conference to discuss the merger originally planned for September if I recall correctly.

Lets hope the money saved from this pointless exercise that nobody wanted except the Socialist Party for their own sectarian interests is used for better purposes.

If there's one thing about Len McCluskey that is certain, he doesn't like to be messed around and no doubt the observers he sent to the PCS Conference would have reported what a shower the far-left political activists in the union are.

And how anti-Labour.

The return of a Labour Government has to be the priority for Labour affiliated trade unions. Hopefully Len has now realised how deluded the PCS leadership is. He certainly knows it can't deliver. So as the Morning Star concludes in its' report:

Mr McCluskey added that talks with rail union TSSA also fell down earlier this year “because we couldn’t reach an agreement about financial issues.”

But he told members to be proud as a number of unions are joining Unite because it represented “the vanguard of the movement.”

Meanwhile PCS flounders.

Friday, 4 July 2014

The one-sided protest of the anti-Israel brigade

Photo: Perspective if ever perspective was needed.

Readers of the far-left Socialist Worker rag were informed that a protest will take place outside the Israeli Embassy this weekend to protest about the action being taken by the IDF against Hamas. These terrorists have hiding amongst civilians (as usual) in the Gaza strip from which over 100 rockets have been launched indiscriminately  at Israeli civilians.

At the same time Hamas murdered the 3 three children they kidnapped, yet to Socialist Worker they are "Israeli settlers", not children. "Settlers". A banal attempt to dehumanise the victims. The SWP once again shames itself.

The demonstration is supported by the usual suspects like the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, but also the laughably named Stop the War Coalition. The pro-Putin, pro-Iran group only wants to stop democracies defending themselves and have never condemned the terrorists of Hamas for firing rockets, let alone support the rights of Tibetans or democracy activists in Iran.....or the Ukraine....

Meanwhile Justice for our boys published a detailed response to the nonsense in Socialist Worker, reproduced in full below:

There's so much wrong with this article so I am going to have a little fun exposing it's lies.

1 "Palestinians face an onslaught by Israeli forces in the wake of the killing of three Israeli settlers." Innocent Palestinians will be fine Israel is not targeting them and "Israeli settlers" 2 out of 3 of them did not even live in the so called "west bank". 

2 "Warplanes bomb Gaza and bulldozers demolish houses in the West Bank – yet growing numbers of Israelis demand still more revenge." Gaza has fired nearly 100 rockets at Israel in the last 3 weeks any other country would have invaded Gaza by now and "demolish houses in the West Bank" it demolished 3 homes of 3 terrorists that killed Israeli civilians tow of the homes are of terrorist that killed the 3 Israeli boys and they are still not caught so yes we do demand more. 

3 "Mohamed Abu Khdeir, 16, was a victim of their calls." The investigation so far is saying that he was killed Arabs not Jews. 

4 "Israeli officials denounce Mohamed’s murder but caution against rushing to judgement on who was responsible. They show no such caution when jumping to proclaim Hamas responsible for the killing of the kidnapped Israelis­ – and they are yet to present any evidence of this." Unlike Hamas we denounce murder of innocent people not celebrate it. And I find it funny that you accuse Israel jumping to proclaim Hamas responsible for the murder when you jumping to proclaim Jews responsible for Mohamed's murder we knew the boys were kidnapped from day 1 by Hamas because they called the police and the security services were warned about a Hamas attempt to kidnap that day. But even when a Israel girl name Shelly Dadon that was killed near a Arab village a few moths ago we said don't jump to conclusions and till today Israel has not said it was a Arab. 

5 "Shocking as Mohamed’s murder is, it can hardly be described as unexpected. The atmosphere in Israel has become even more poisonous following the discovery of the kidnapped bodies." When was the last time you hear of Jew involved in a revenge killing? Sorry but that does not happen 

6  "Israelis marched through the streets of Jerusalem on Tuesday chanting, “Death to Arabs.” They attacked Palestinians, pulling them from their cars." Arabs destroyed the Jerusalem train and graffitied death to the Jews and death to Israel and swastikas. 

7 "The murder of Mohamed has only partially granted their wishes." No Israeli official has said that they are happy about the murder of this innocent Arab but many Arab officials have tried to justify the murder of the innocent Jewish boys. 

8 "Gaza was again hit by Israeli air strikes last night. Neveen Jadeen, is a Palestinian living in Britain whose family still live in Gaza. “People are so afraid,” she told Socialist Worker." Israel has said time and time again when Gaza stops firing rockets at Israel, Israel will stop retaliating it's that simple but we can not live under the threat of rockets.

Meanwhile the danger of escalating conflict in Gaza is reported by the Gatestone Institute:

Despite denials by Hamas, there is growing evidence that the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] -- also known as "The Islamic State" -- has begun operating in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Authority [PA] and Israeli security sources are convinced that followers of ISIS in the Gaza Strip are responsible for some of the recent rocket attacks on Israel.

Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.

The left must wake up to the dangers of Islamism and stop attacking the only democracy in the Middle East at every opportunity.

Hamas, ISIS and their ilk are a threat not just to Jews, but the vast majority of Muslims to.