Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Where are the Feminists in the fight against Islamism?

In the seventies the Feminist Movement seemed to be everywhere, challenging everything from wages for housework to opposing the veil and burka. Today the only group that seems to stand against religious fascism is FEMEN, an organisation that originated in the Ukraine and is now spreading  to other countries.

One doesn't have to agree with all their actions or ideas but their bravery and commitment to standing up to Putin, Le Pen and the Islamists has to be admired. They show up the so called radical activists like the Lindsey Germans of this world for the appeasers and right-wingers they really are.

But what has gone wrong with the Feminist movement. They are alive and kicking.

When the "comrade delta affair was exposed feminists were at the forefront of condemning the Socialist Workers Party and rightly so, even pushing for the SWP to be banned from college campuses.

At the same time the feminists seem oblivious to the growth of misogynist Islamism which poses far more of a danger than a small political sect like the SWP. 

It's not just in the UK. Phyllis Chesler writes

The upcoming annual conference of the National Organisation for Women (NOW) does not list ISIS or Boko Haram on its agenda. While the most recent Women's Studies annual conference did focus on foreign policy, they were only interested in Palestine, a country which has never existed, and support for which is often synonymous with an anti-Israel position. Privately, feminists favour non-intervention, non-violence and the need for multilateral action, and they blame America for practically everything wrong in the world......

Feminists are, typically, leftists who view "Amerika" and white Christian men as their most dangerous enemies, while remaining silent about Islamist barbarians such as ISIS.

Feminists strongly criticise Christianity and Judaism, but they're strangely reluctant to oppose Islam — as if doing so would be "racist." They fail to understand that a religion is a belief or an ideology, not a skin colour.

The new pseudo-feminists are more concerned with racism than with sexism, and disproportionately focused on Western imperialism, colonialism and capitalism than on Islam's long and ongoing history of imperialism, colonialism, anti-black racism, slavery, forced conversion and gender and religious apartheid.

And why? They are terrified of being seen as "politically incorrect" and then demonised and shunned for it.

To be frank they are "politically incorrect" but not in the sense they would understand. They are just plain wrong. 

To tell them that would probably result in accusations that their critics were "oppressing them".

The feminist left should take some lessons from FEMEN. 

FEMEN International

Monday, 29 June 2015

Defend the Kurds from Turkish President Erdogan

Flag of Kurdistan.svg

The rise of ISIS has given birth to a renewed Kurdish movement across the Middle East. The Kurds are probably the largest nation not to have a state of their own with them spread across Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Their aspirations for nationhood have always been suppressed by the occupying countries, but having faced their "Stalingrad" in Kobane the fight for the self determination of the Kurdish people has now entered a new era.

Whilst neither Assad in Syria or the beleaguered regime in Iraq are in a position to stop the establishment of Kurdish "cantons" and other autonomous areas, the Turks are certainly not happy with the prospect of a Kurdish state on their borders.

The International Business Times reports:

Syrian Kurds have been fighting the group also known as ISIS on the Turkish border for the past year, and their recent advances have worried Turkey, which is opposed vehemently to a Kurdish state on its border.

“I am saying this to the whole world: We will never allow the establishment of a state on our southern border in the north of Syria,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech last Friday. “We will continue our fight in that respect whatever the cost may be.”

The Turkish government has not confirmed or denied the reports, but said the announcement would be made on Tuesday.

Erdogan is still smarting from his failure to gain the parliamentary majority he needed to establish his own form of Islamist dictatorship in the recent election. The advance of the Kurdish opposition part saw the defection of support from the more "pious" section of the community from Erdogan. There are some 19 million Kurds in Turkey and there has been a long and protracted war with the militants of the PKK over the last few decades.

The World Affairs Journal writes:

Twenty five percent of Turkey’s population is Kurdish, and Erdogan—like most of his ethnic Turkish countrymen—are terrified that Turkey may lose a huge swath of its territory if Syrian Kurdistan liberates itself alongside Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish Kurdistan could very well be the next domino.

They are not crazy to fear this.

But they’re reacting by treating as ISIS the lesser of evils. If ISIS can keep the Kurds down, Turkey’s territorial integrity is more secure.

“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all,” a former ISIS communications technician toldNewsweek, “because there was full cooperation with the Turks and they reassured us that nothing will happen…ISIS saw the Turkish army as its ally especially when it came to attacking the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds were the common enemy for both ISIS and Turkey.”

Apparently the Turkish government will be making a decision on their actions shortly as the International Buisness Times report continues:

"We have a MGK [National Security Council] meeting tomorrow; we will make the necessary announcements afterwards,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, according to the state-run news outlet Anadolu Agency.

The Turkish Government must not be allowed to stab the Kurds in the back. 

Remember this is a country which committed the first industrialised genocide of the twentieth century and massacred one an a half million Armenians. It remains a crime in their country to even call this for what is was, a Holocaust.

The world did not act then, but we must act now to defend the Kurds against Erdogan's Islamist intentions for which he will also get the support of far right Turkish nationalists.

People's Protection Units Flag.svg

If Turkey intervenes against the Kurds we must protest. The traditional left/anti-imperialist brigade cannot be relied on so it will be up to the "decent" left to raise the issue.

There needs to be a nationally (and internationally) co-ordinated Kurdish Solidarity Campaign with protests held outside the Turkish Embassy both here, across Europe and the Western world.

The Kurds have been fighting on the front line against ISIS almost alone. 

They are in need of our help.

Freedom for Kurdistan!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Gay Marriage "it's all the Jews fault"

The annual Gay Pride march took place yesterday and the participants had plenty to celebrate given the decision of the US Supreme court to legalise Gay Marriage across the whole country. Britain is also one of the most tolerant and safe places to be gay according to one participant on the march yesterday, but it's far from over there are still those with banal and intolerant views not just in the UK but around the world.

Take one anti-Semitic Lutheran preacher and give to the Iranian fascist government Press TV station and off the bigots go:

“The key Jewish role played in the mainstreaming of abortion, LGBT, and pornography in the United States may be documented in Google search, especially in looking at the Frankfurt School and its Institute for Social Research,” he added.

“The provable Jewish role in destroying the older Christian cultures of the United States and Europe is now a dagger pointed at the Islamic World and the revival of Eastern Orthodox culture in Russia,” the analyst noted.

“I believe Russian President Putin understands this, and will resist the cultural, economic, and military coercion of the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire with all of his country's national resources and will,” he observed.

“I believe Mr. Putin is a key ingredient in destroying this global threat, and restoring cultural integrity and national sovereignty to his country, and providing a model for defeating the Zionist agenda globally,” he concluded.

Now remind me again who works for Press TV. 

Would that be John Rees of Counterfire and the Stop the War Campaign. And isn't it the StWC who deny any Russian aggression in the Ukraine and elsewhere.

It's always the West's fault.

Freedom for gays. Such Western deviationism indeed.

How do the anti-imperialist brigade live with themselves?

They ARE the new far right.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Musical Tribute - Patrick Macnee with Honor Blackman

Patrick Macnee sadly passed away at the age of 93 last week. Famous for his role as John Steed in The Avengers particularly when Diana Rigg was his co-star, the original series is somewhat overlooked.

Most of the original shows with Honor Blackman have been lost but one little piece of their collaboration does remain. A short song which bombed on it's initial release suddenly became a hit in the seventies.

So in way of a tribute to a fondly remembered actor, here's the video of Kinky Boots from Top of The Pops.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Once more on Islam and violence

The news that Islamic extremists had struck tourists in Tunisia this afternoon killing at least 37 people including 5 Britons shocked everyone this afternoon. This was Followed by the disgusting terrorist outrage in France where a man was beheaded .

It didn't stop there. Suicide bombers struck a Shia Mosque in Kuwait murdering (lets call it what it really is) at least 25 and injuring scores more.

Prior to this ISIS launched suicide bombers at the Kurds of Kobane in revenge for their criminal organisations lost ground at the hands of the Peshmerga and other Kurdish forces who seem to be the only people currently engaged in the Middle east capable of confronting these criminals.

Where do these so-called religious men get their inspiration?

They themselves say the Koran.

Earlier this week I cross-posted a statement from the National Secular Society welcoming the publication of an anti-terrorism edict by a certain Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Almost immediately it was pointed out to me by David T of Harry's Place that the same man was "the prime mover of the legislation that declared Ahmadiyya Muslims "non Muslim" in Pakistan, which resulted in their official persecution and repression.".

Today Left Foot Forward publishes an expose by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid who writes:

... back home in Pakistan, Qadri proudly takes ownership of formulating Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been abused to suffocate and intimidate religious minorities through blatant mob violence.

When addressing western audiences, Qadri claims that the blasphemy law does not apply to non-Muslims. Back home in Pakistan he has advocated ‘killing blasphemers… like dogs’.

This video highlights his contradictory stance on the blasphemy law, and showcases his claim that he incorporated section 295-C to the Pakistan Penal Code which sanctions the death punishment for defiling Islamic scriptures or insulting Prophet Muhammad.

Qadri is renowned for saying whatever sells, whether it’s anti-government fascism through his politics and a bigoted version of Islam back home, or apologism in the garb of Islamic ‘moderation’ in the West.
It's worth reading the article in full.

Once again we are reminded that Islamic scholars are not always as they may seem.

Islam remains a source of religious intolerance and until that is addressed this mindless violence will continue.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Size doesn't matter

photo wikepedia

The anti-austerity march held last Saturday was quite obviously one of the larger demonstrations held in a while but how many people attended and does it actually matter?

There is never any agreement on the number of people who attend a demonstration or protest. Most are fairly small. Some however are clearly quite big but the estimates of the number of participants  differ wildly. Socialist Worker and the rest of the "left" press always exaggerate. The largest demo I have ever attended was the pensions one called a few years back. Probably similar in size to the anti-austerity march with one difference.

It was marred by the banal actions of a few score of anarchists who I saw mask up and tool up as we entered Trafalgar Square and then deliberately kicked off in Piccadilly causing pointless damage and mayhem which diverted attention from the purpose of the march (to defend our pensions) and put off some of the members we had bought along to a march for the first time.

The event was hijacked and the media focused on the violence. The hard work of the trade unions disrupted by a few ideologically motivated "children" (a few well into their fifties) who were not even trade unionists themselves and couldn't even be described as "workers" in any shape or form.

The pensions march failed. We lost.

So did the anti-austerity march. The newly elected Tory Government simply announced another £12 Billion of welfare cuts. They were not going to be pressurised by a demonstration no matter how large (or small) just after they had won a general election on a platform that included the prospect of cuts.

But demonstrations don't often win their demands. The anti-war march over a decade ago was the largest in British history with "over a million participants" failed to achieve their aim. The war they protested about wrongly or rightly (I didn't support the StWC then any more than I do now) went ahead.

The purpose of demos, rallies and other public forms of protest perform other functions than just putting forward "demands". They also bring together people who have a fairly common purpose to form "movements" that allow people to realise they are not alone.

Demonstrations are an important part of the democratic process. Without them our rights would be curtailed.

I have no idea how many people turned up on Saturday. They met, they made a point (ignored by government) and returned home knowing they were not alone.

Was it worth it?

Yes has to be the answer.

So whether there were 70,000 or 250,000  protesters it was right to make a point. The size of a demonstration doesn't matter, it's whether we have the right to make a peaceful protest that counts.

Democracy is constantly under threat. Free speech, the right to strike, the right of assembly and not just from the government. 

The mob rule of "twitter". The easily offended brigade who believe that any disagreement with their views is automatically "oppressing" them.

The right to disagree is always worth defending.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Say NO to Neo-Nazi's in Golders Green on July 4th

 From a press release by EO Anti-Semitism.

The Campaign 4 Truth together with affiliated grass-roots organisations from a spectrum of different communities will be taking direct action under the banner:


A peaceful counter demonstration to:
  • oppose fascism
  • expose anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism as anti-Judaism
It is rumoured that the "UAF" and BDS will attend supposedly to stand against the Nazis.

Campaign 4 Truth question how that ties in with their raison dêtre to de-legitimise Israel by picketing Jewish owned shops in the UK two of which were forced to shut – see Ahava, Kedem, Ecostream.

George Galloway of ‘no Israelis in Bradford’ notoriety tweeted his intention to come to Golders Green on the 4th July.
Campaign 4 Truth question his motives considering his links to Hamas.

With well over 800 people already signed up to attend on The Campaign 4 Truth event page we expect that this peaceful demonstration will make it clear that:
  • racism in all its forms is unacceptable
  • anti-Semitism in all its forms will exposed
Say No to Nazi's in Golders Green!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Islamic scholar releases extensive theological rebuttal of extremist ideology

Cross-post from the National Secular Society

Islamic scholar releases extensive theological rebuttal of extremist ideology

An Islamic scholar has released an extensive syllabus for use by teachers and children which seeks to rebut extremist Islamist ideology.

At an event in Westminster on 23 June 2015, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri launched the "Islamic Curriculum on Peace and Counter-Terrorism", a wide-ranging series of books which emphasise peaceful teachings within the Islamic tradition.

It was described as an "ideological answer" to the interpretation of Islam propagated by ISIS.

The books were well received at the event, and several leading imams declared that they would begin using the curriculum in mosques.

Dr Qadri said both Muslim and non-Muslim students should study the work and called for it to be used in schools as well as mosques and madrasahs.

When asked if he feared becoming a target for Islamic State, he insisted he would continue promoting his rebuttal of Islamic State's theology.

An NSS spokesperson who attended the launch event commented: "It is obviously in the interests of those wishing to live in a secular society that a growing religion with a large number of adherents should manifest their religion peacefully.

"While non-believers and non-Muslims will form their own view of Islamic scripture, we do welcome this significant effort by such a large number of Muslims to tackle some of the root ideological problems which cause radicalisation.

"It should never be forgotten – and was stated repeatedly at the launch event- that most victims of Islamist terror are Muslims. It was very pleasing to see such a large number of Muslim leaders denouncing terrorism so comprehensively. Dr Qadri appears to have been personally courageous in publishing such a high profile and extensive rebuttal of Islamic State.

"Our only concern is that, while pushing this counter-narrative is vital, some policy-makers at the event did seem convinced that there is no valid theological underpinning for violent extremism at all, or that terrorism is always a 'perversion' or 'distortion' of Islamic teaching. It was even said at the launch event that no religion justifies violence.

"While we want to see a peaceful narrative triumph within the faith for obvious reasons, it is palpably dishonest to completely separate Islam from Islamic terrorism. Equally, in the long-term, for a counter-narrative to succeed, it must be acknowledged that there is a competing scriptural claim to the one Dr Qadri set out. Genuine reform requires recognition that serious problems exist.

"While it is right to say that most British Muslims completely reject Islamic State, it is worrying to see some senior policy-makers seemingly refuse to accept the role religion can play in violence- and that this often does have some grounding in scripture.

"It does seem that in this, and in other matters, many policy-makers can have an uncritical positive regard for religion and view any religious violence as a distortion or deviation."

Imams and Muslim leaders from many traditions and countries at the event welcomed Dr Qadri's work, which is seen as his most important contribution to the debate around radicalisation and Islamic extremism since he published his 2010 religious ruling against terrorism.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Debating difficult issues

The furore caused by David Cameron's speech that the Muslim "community " needs to face up to the growth of extremism within Islam is just another indication of how "political correctness" has damaged the ability of our society to sit down and have an adult conversation about the issues involved.

Predictably some Muslims (and the anti-imperialist left) has cried foul with shrieks of "Islamophobia" in an attempt to deflect criticism away from the real issues about the theology behind the growth of Jihadism amongst many young (and not so young) followers of Islam.

But this is not the only issue where such difficulties arise.

Two stories (both on the front page of today's Times newspaper caught my attention.

The first, the lead story was about the growth of knife crime. The Times reports (no link £):

A reduction in stop-and-search checks  on teenagers, championed by Theresa may, is contributing to a dramatic rise in stabbings the countries most senior police officer has said.

These stabbings have risen by a quarter apparently and to be honest hardly a day seems to go by without a report of stabbing somewhere in London let alone elsewhere in the country. There have been 1,697 youths stabbed in the capital between June 2014 and May 2015.

That's a lot of violent crime. And the key word is youths.

Now Stop & Search was  because it caused damage to community relations, by which they really mean the black community. It has to be pointed out that a disproportionate number of victims are black youths.

A lot of the prominent campaigners against knife crime are black parents. So we have a problem that does need to be addressed.

No one wants to target young black men, but gang culture is out of control in the black community and how society deals it will be no easy task.

But there are those who inevitably shout "race", and whilst no one says all knife crime is from the one community, there is a culture that does need tackling.

It's young black men who are statistically at most risk.

It needs dealing with.

And without "damaging community relations", but like the Muslim community there are those who refuse to face up to the challenge.

Immigration is another of these "difficult" issues.

The influx of Eastern Europeans is seen as a problem by many people and this is not restricted to the "white" community. I am slightly, but not entirely surprised at the amount of people from ethnic minorities who share similar concerns.

Britain is seen as an easy destination, however I would suggest that it is not EU migrants that may be a problem, but non-EU ones. The sight of the unruly groups of men at Calais is disturbing to most people and the French governments seeming unwillingness to deal with the problem always seems to be thrown back at the UK. They tell us that the benefits we allow immigrants make the UK a very attractive destination.

Immigration is and will remain an issue that needs to be tackled in an open fashion without the false accusations of racism thrown at anyone who dares talk about immigration control.

Open borders as demanded by some would inevitably lead to chaos.

But even the BBC (of which I am and remain a firm supporter of) has apparently shied away from reporting the issues involved and the opinions of people which do not fit in with the so-called "liberal" agenda we are all supposed to follow.

The Times has serialised the memoirs of former Editorial Director Roger Mosey.:

..he explains how the Ten O'Clock News "sanitised" a report on an area by leaving out interviews with members of the white community who made "hard" comments.

It is no wonder that so so many traditionally Labour voters went for UKIP in this unhealthy climate. Whether the liberal establishment or the left like it there is a problem and it is not being addressed.

Shouting "racist" doesn't help and probably backfires.

No one wants racism to fester except perhaps the very far-right, but such racism and intolerance is not, I repeat not limited to the "white" community.

It exists within the Muslim community towards non-believers, Jews and apostates. It exists between different ethnic communities themselves and is a barrier to society moving forward.

Only through an open and rational debate can we tackle the problems arising.

  • Freedom of worship is fine, but must be subject to a common law for all, a secular legal system.
  • Knife crime and gang culture must be tackled with the participation of the communities particularly affected.
  • Immigration does need to be controlled, but numbers not race should be the central starting point.

Of course the easily offended brigade will probably find some way of taking exception but that's what they always do.

Let's get serious, these issues need to be discussed.

Letting them fester in the background is not an option.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Musical Interlude: The Kinks

Ray Davies of The Kinks is 71 today so here's a quick musical interlude to celebrate!

Lola from 1973!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Islamic radicalisation on Salman Rushdie's Birthday

The news that yet more families have decided to fly to the Middle east and join the murderous ISIS gangsters has opened a debate about the causes of Islamic "radicalisation". As usual the authorities get the blame in some Muslim quarters for "not doing enough".

Problem is these also tend to be the very same people who complain about the police spending too much time "spying" on the Muslim community.

It's "Islamophobic" to suggest that the followers of the Islamic faith are prone to extremism, violence and terrorism. Islam is a "religion of peace" we are told time and time again and as some Imams try to claim it's British foreign policy that is to blame.

A line also peddled by the anti-imperialist brigade of the far left and it's allies.....

It just so happens that Salman Rushdie has his birthday today.

Anyone remember the Satanic Verses, that dreadfully pretentious book that the Iranian Ayatollah decided to turn into a world wide crusade in an attempt to gain hegemony over the Islamic faith?

A "Fatwa" was issued calling for his death. Demonstrations were organised by "community leaders" in the streets of Britain and outpouring of hate was preached in British Mosques.

A new era began. The rise of Islamic intolerance in our midst.

Until then it's doubt anyone gave Islam a second thought. Now it's a subject discussed daily in the media, the workplace and in peoples homes. The majority of Britons see Islam as a threat.

Trouble is Islam has developed a self portrait of "victim hood". Completely false in origin. Islam is not an oppressed religion. people in this country are free to practice their faith, subject to the limitations of the common law when it comes to the practice of "Sharia".

Contrast that with the treatment of religious minorities across the Muslim world. Christians, Jews and others are treated as third class citizens. Muslim women of course making up the second class, being worth only "half a man" under this medieval faith.

You can't even sell Bibles or build a church in Saudi Arabia.

Persecution of non believers seems to be the norm.

The seeds of radicalism exist within the doctrine of Islam itself. There is inbuilt intolerance and supremacism within the faith itself.

ISIS represents the most extreme possible expression of the religious fascism with it's pursuit of genocide, rape and slavery.

Muslims need to ask themselves why so many of their young are attracted to this type of murderous Jihadism.

The answer is closer to home than they like to admit.

Islam must face up to the fact it needs to reform and fast.

And the rest of us need to stand up against religious intolerance both at home and abroad. Human decency and democracy must be defended.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Left Unity in ever decreasing circles...

Left Unity

One of the reasons "so many" people read the Weekly Worker is because it is a good source of both gossip, scandal and the sheer futility of the British far-left. Oh the comrades (all two dozen of them) who produce the rag insist it is read for it's "clear Marxist analysis" know that this really is the case, but over a thousand issues of sectariana is no mean feat and they should be congratulated for their efforts.

Sometimes however their reports do really show up the over-blown self importance of the organisation within that tiny milieu. Take the "recently" launched Left Unity "Party". Built by Face book "likes" and a short film by Ken Loach it attracted much attention from not just those who had dropped out of the other left groupings over the years but managed an unprecedented feat of having formal factions before they even officially launched.

Sad really.

No one who watched their initial proceedings will forget the sight of a middle aged comrade singing her speech to an astonished but surprisingly polite conference.

High hopes were held by many as several of the smaller trotskyist sects made their way into Left Unity setting up Communist Platforms (CPGB), Socialist Platforms (don't ask) and other such sectarian tomfoolery and blew their hopes..

Several thousand Face Book likes turned into barely 2,000 members and squabbling has probably pushed that number further down as in-fighting and sheer nonsense tool their toll. Who can forget though LU might like to) the idiot who tried to get "critical support" for the ISIS mass murderers/rapists/slavers on the grounds they were "anti-imperialist".

Speechless me.

Now the comrades have had a regional conference in London, the largest city in England's green and pleasant land. Some seventy members turned up and turned into an almost equal number of factions for the day. Even Ken Loach raised the Monty Python Life of Brian banner as they debated working with the sectarians of the Socialist Party & SWP's Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Arguments of "electoralism" vs "building from below" took place, but there is one problem. One that should tell you all you really need to know about this latest group of revolutionary windbags.

Apparently they have "540" members in London of which "just over 100 regularly attend the meeting held in the eleven LU Branches.

That's just over 9 per branch plus a dog or maybe a cat.

Not in a position to do anything except argue about how many dialectics can be spun on the head of a pin.

Make a good soap.

Oh they already did that.......

Power to the people. Not......

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A letter from a trade unionist to Britain’s trade unionists

In an open letter to Britain’s trade unionists, Liz Kendall explains how she intends to strengthen Labour’s link to the trade unions.

I’m a proud trade unionist, and I know you are too.

Trade unions helped found the Labour Party, and if I am elected as leader that link will never be broken. On the contrary, I want to strengthen your relationship with the Labour Party so I will not tolerate those inside or outside our movement who want to put that relationship at risk.

Rather than being dominated by threats to withdraw funding or back other parties, let this leadership election give a voice to the many trade union members who now face a fresh assault on their rights at work because Labour failed to beat the Tories in the election. That includes union members who chose not vote Labour this time. I also want to hear from working people who have not yet joined a trade union, and hear why that is.

And I promise that I will always be an ally for you. I will tolerate no weakening of protections for working people or the basic rights of trade unions while I’m leader. If they’re implemented by this Tory government, the Labour government I will lead will reverse them.

As Harriet Harman said yesterday we need a frank, open and honest debate about why Labour failed so badly and what we need to do to win in 2020. This is the time for hard truths – and that’s the kind of campaign, and party, that I will lead.

Too many people in Britain today feel like they’re powerless. One of the great strengths of the trade union movement is to take power from the centre and put power into the hands of the many. That’s what I’m about too – and I want Britain’s trade unionists, and anyone else who cares about making those changes, to join me on this journey.

To join the campaign please go to: http://www.lizforleader.com/


For those of you who may still need persuading this article from a left-wing perspective is well worth reading:

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Why the Stop the War Coalition shouldn't exist

F-15E - Controlling The Sky.JPG

This mornings Sky News was dominated by a report of the latest fighting between the Saudi Arabian led coalition and the Iranian backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Pictures of the air strikes taking place on civilian areas were clear to all from the broadcast, which reminded me of the coverage given to the Gaza conflict a while back.

Except there is one vital difference. Whereas Hamas was using civilian areas to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, there is no such evidence of similar activity here. A crucial point to make when dealing with the so-called anti imperialist "left".

When the Gaza conflict broke the Stop the War Coalition of communists and Islamists along with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign were rampaging through the streets of London.

Where are they now?

Surely a "Stop the War Coalition" means all wars doesn't it?

No, far from it. These appeasers for Putin and other authoritarian regimes simply indulge their hesperophobia  and sit in the armchairs blaming the West. Not even a condemnation of Iran which is clearly involved in this conflict. Nothing to do with some of the StWC leaders working for Press TV the propaganda channel for the Iranian Government? Nah can't be.

But then the West got the blame for the Ukrainian civil war. George Galloway (one of the StWC Vice Presidents) happens to work for err.. Russian TV, just saying before he reaches yet again for his lawyers.

The fact is the StWC is not anti-war at all. It is simply anti-West and might as well be a formal fifth columnist organisation for (add country of choice) and other dictatorships or worse.

There's nothing new on the StWC website about Yemen at the time of writing. But they did write a formal statement during the General Election...blaming Britain.

Nothing to do with ancient Sunni and Shia rivalries then eh comrades. Lets not let history get in the way of making anti-Western propaganda.

We won't see a demonstration by the anti-imperialists anytime soon. It simply doesn't suit their purposes and anyhow the comrades have their hands full looking for Asghar Bukari's shoe.

There seems to be no reason why this quite ideologically twisted organisation should exist. They don't even pretend to show "balance", always taking the side of the enemy. Literally.

The StWC still receives monies from trade unions who should urgently reconsider their affiliation to this nefarious outfit. At the same time the "left" should also reconsider their support for Jeremy Corbyn MP as Labour leader.

Jeremy is of course Chair of the StWC. He also has some rather unsavoury views on a variety of issues which Alan Johnson has gone into detail in his Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn published on the veer excellent Left Foot Forward website. Well worth a read.

The charmers over at the StWC have an essay called Why the State of Israel Shouldn't exist very prominently on their website. Actually comrades it should and the only barriers to peace are the Islamists and so-called anti-imperialist brigade of which you are a part.

The left should not be supporting neo-fascist dictatorships like Putin's Russia, clerical fascist regimes like Iran or their proxies let alone the slavish devotion these "comrades" show to Cuba, Venezuela , Hamas or Hizbollah.

The StWC along with Counterfire, Respect the SWP and the CPB are now firmly on the right and none should even be considered to have a legitimate presence in the Labour & trade union movement.

It is the Stop the War Coalition that shouldn't exist.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Dismantle parallel legal systems!

Cross-post from Maryam Namazie

Women’s rights and secular organisations urge the new government to take concerted measures to stop the development of parallel legal systems and to facilitate full and proper access to justice for all citizens and to one secular law for all.

For decades, successive governments have appeased undemocratic religious power brokers in minority communities who have sought to gain power through multicultural and now multi-faith social policies. These policies have led to the homogenisation of minority communities including the ‘Muslim community’ and have recognised and legitimated ‘non-violent’ Islamists as ‘community representatives’, outsourcing legal justice to what are in effect kangaroo courts that deliver highly discriminatory and second-rate forms of ‘justice.’ Over the years, we have witnessed with increasing alarm the influence of ‘Sharia courts’ over the lives of citizens of Muslim heritage.

Any government inquiry into ‘Sharia courts’ must also examine the impact of the draconian cuts in legal aid that have adversely affected access to justice for the most vulnerable. Many abused women from minority backgrounds, for instance, are increasingly forced to either represent themselves in court in what are often complex family legal proceedings or go to ‘Sharia courts’ that operate entirely outside the rule of law. The loss of legal aid contributes to a context that is conducive to the consolidation of privatised and unaccountable forms of justice and ‘Sharia courts’ are amongst the main beneficiaries.

Though the ‘Sharia courts’ have been touted as people’s right to religion, they are in fact, effective tools of the far-Right Islamist movement whose main aim is to restrict and deny rights, particularly those of women and children. ‘Sharia’ laws are highly contested and challenged in many countries, including in Muslim-majority countries across the globe – from Iran to Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Pakistan. Those of us in Britain who oppose ‘Sharia courts’ and all other religious forms of arbitration over family matters, are part of the same movement that challenge the religious-Right and defend the principle of one law for all underpinned by the notions of universalism, human rights, secularism and equality.

Opposing ‘Sharia courts’ is not racism or ‘Islamophobic’; it is a defence of the rights of all citizens, irrespective of their beliefs and background to be governed by democratic means under the principle of one law for all. What amounts to racism is the idea that minorities can be denied rights enjoyed by others through the endorsement of religious based ‘justice’ systems which operate according to divine law that is by its very nature immune from state scrutiny.

We have seen recent victories against the accommodation of ‘Sharia’ codes within law and policy in the UK. Using equalities and human rights legislation, we have successfully challenged both the Universities UK for issuing guidance that condones gender segregation in universities and the Law Society for endorsing discriminatory ‘Sharia’ codes in the area of inheritance. As well as challenging draconian state measures that criminalise whole communities and aid and abet xenophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry and racism, it is vital that we also push back the Islamist narrative and challenge ‘Sharia courts’ since they clearly represent yet another assault on our civil liberties.

We also urge the government to withdraw from its intention to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. Such a move will represent a break from what was the most important social contract to have emerged between European States and citizens, following the Second World War. The agreement to sign up to a simple set of standards that uphold human decency and universal values led to the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to standards that protect and uphold the rights of all people in the face of state and non-state abuses of power. Now more than ever, we need the Human Rights Act to challenge the arbitrary and unaccountable power of ‘Sharia courts.’

We, the undersigned, therefore, call on the new Government to:

1. Reinstate legal aid in all areas of civil and criminal law to ensure equal access to justice for all.
2. Recognise that ‘Sharia’ and other religious courts deliver arbitrary and unaccountable forms of ‘justice’ that discriminate against women and children in particular. Citizenship and human rights are non-negotiable.
3. Abolish the use of ‘Sharia courts’ and all other religious arbitration forums, including the Beth Din, in family matters since they undermine the principle of equality, non discrimination and universal human rights that must be enjoyed by all citizens.
4. Reject calls for state regulation of ‘Sharia’ and other religious courts and tribunals. This will only legitimate parallel legal systems in the governance of family matters.
5. Re-affirm the principle of the separation of religion and the law. The law is a key component of securing justice for citizens and one law for all.
6. Desist from repealing the Human Rights Act 1998. This move will strip all vulnerable people of their right to protection and justice.


A C Grayling, Philosopher
A Gilani, Spokesperson of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Afiya S. Zia, Active member of Women’s Action Forum in Pakistan
Afsaneh Vahdat, Spokesperson of Children First Now
Alber Saber, Egyptian Blogger
Albert Beale, Pacifist Journalist
Ali A. Rizvi, Pakistani-Canadian Writer and Physician
Ali al Razi, Ex-Muslims Forum
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Egyptian Blogger
Alison Assiter, Professor of Feminist Theory at UWE, Bristol
Aliyah Saleem, Secular Education Campaigner
Alya Marquardt, British-Iraqi Singer and Composer
Amel Grami, Tunisian Professor
American Humanist Association
Andrew Lowdon, Chair, Nottingham Secular Society
Ani Zonneveld, President of Muslims for Progressive Values
Anila Atharhasan, Rationalist Society of Pakistan
Anissa Helie, Professor
Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-founder and Co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Nirmul Committee
Anthony McIntyre, Writer
Armin Nabavi, Atheist Republic Founder
Aso Kamal, Founding Board Member of Kurdistan Secular Centre
Ateizm Derneği
Atheist Alliance International
Babak Yazdi, Spokesperson for Kanoon-e Khavaran, Organisation for Defence of Political Prisoners in Iran
Bahram Soroush, Political Analyst
Bariş Çetin, Board of Directors’ Member of Ateizm Dernegi
Ben Kerr, Chair of Plymouth Humanists
Bo Liao, President of LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Bob Charlwood, Committee Member of Brighton Secular Humanists
Bread and Roses TV
British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Bushra Tahir, Chair of Awaaz Group – Voice of Women
Centre for Secular Space
Chetan Bhatt, Professor of Sociology, LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Children First Now
Chris Moos, Secularist Researcher and Activist
Christine M. Shellska, President of Atheist Alliance International
Clara Connolly, Immigration Lawyer
Clive Aruede, Organiser of London Black Atheists
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Darren Johnson AM, Green Party, London Assembly
Dashty Jamal, Secretary of International Federation of Iraqi Refugees
David Silverman, President of American Atheists
Deeyah Khan, Filmmaker and Founder/CEO of Fuuse
Dennis Penaluna, Secular Activist and Organiser
Derek Lennard, Activist
Diana Nammi, Founder and Executive Director, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation
Dilip Simeon, Labour Historian
Dominic Wirdnam, Secretary of Bristol Secular Society
Elham Manea, Academic and Writer
Ensaf Haidar, Campaigner
Equal Rights Now – Movement for Women’s Liberation in Iran
Faisal Gazi, Writer and Blogger
Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar, Iraqi Activist and Founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement
Faizun Zackariya, Citizens Voice for Justice and Peace
Fariborz Pooya, Bread and Roses TV Host
Farida Shaheed, Executive Director of Shirkat Gah, Women’s Resource Centre in Pakistan
Farideh Arman, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Fatou Sow, International Director, Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Federation of Iranian Refugees UK
Francis Wheen, Writer
George Broadhead, Secretary of the Pink Triangle Trust
Gina Khan, Women’s Rights Activist and Researcher
Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space
Glen Carrigan, Scientist and Founder of AHSUCLan
Gona Saed, Founding Board Member of Kurdistan Secular Centre
Guy Otten, BHA Trustee and Humanist Celebrant
Habiba Jaan, Founder of Aurat- Supporting Women in the Midlands
Hamid Taqvaee, Leader of the Worker-communist Party of Iran
Haras Rafiq, Managing Director of Quilliam Foundation
Harold Kroto, Nobel Prize Winner
Harsh Kapoor, Founder and Editor of South Asia Citizens Web
Hasan Mahmud, Advisory Board of World Muslim Congress and General Secretary of Muslims Facing Tomorrow
Homa Arjomand, Coordinator of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada and One Secular School for All
Ibn Warraq, Writer
Ibrahim Abdallah, Muslimish NYC Organizer
Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN Leader
International Front for Secularism
Iram Ramzan, Journalist
Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation
Ishafak Tely, Technology Engineer
James Bloodworth, Journalist and Editor of Left Foot Forward
Jane Donnelly, Human Rights Officer of Atheist Ireland
Javed Anand, General Secretary of Muslims for Secular Democracy in India
Jocelynne A. Scutt, Barrister & Human Rights Lawyer
Johnny Monsarrat, Secular Policy Institute Alliance Director
Jonnie Dean, Peace Activist and Filmmaker
Julie Bindel, Writer
Justice for Women
Kamran Ahmed Khan, Oncologist
Kamyar Dadfar, Secretary of LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Karima Bennoune, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Kazimierz Lyszczynski, Foundation Poland
Khushi Kabir, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her work at Nijera Kori with Bangladesh’s landless
Kiran Opal, Pakistani-Canadian Writer and Human Rights Activist
Lakshmi Pala, Ateizm Derneği
Laura Guidetti, Rivista Marea
Lawrence Krauss, Foundation Professor of School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Dept., Co-director of Cosmology Initiative and Director of Origins initiative, Arizona State University
Leesa Gazi, Cultural worker
Lejla Kuric, Writer
Lila Ghobady, Filmmaker
Lino Veljak, University of Zagreb
Lloyd Newson, Artist
London Black Atheists
Maajid Nawaz, Founding Chairman of Quilliam Foundation
Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development
Magdulien Abaida, Women’s Rights Activist
Maggie Hall, Committee Member of Brighton Secular Humanists
Mahin Alipour, Women’s Rights Activist
Mariam Faruqi, Rapporteur National Commission on Forced Marriage
Mariam Taheri, Human Rights Activist
Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue and Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Mehran Mahbobi , Children’s Rights Activist
Michael Nugent, Chairperson of Atheist Ireland
Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and Execution
Mohammed Alkhadra, Human Rights Activist and Founder of the Jordanian Atheists Community Group
Morgan Elizabeth Romano, Vice President of the Board of Directors & Director of International Relations of Ateizm Dernegi
Muhammad Syed, President of Ex-Muslims of North America
Muslims for Progressive Values
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker
Nari Diganta
Natalia Paszkiewicz, Campaigner for Refugee Women and Migrants Rights
National Secular Society
Nazanin Borumand, Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany
Network of Women in Black Serbia
Nick Cohen, Journalist
Nina Sankari, President of the Europejska Feministyczna Inicjatywa
Nira Yuval-Davis, a founder member of Women Against Fundamentalism and the International Research Network on Women in Militarized Conflict Zone
One Law for All
Ophelia Benson, Columnist of The Freethinker and Free Inquiry
Pervez Hoodbhoy, Pakistani Nuclear Physicist and Social Activist
Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Piara Mayenin, Solicitor and Producer of Legal Help with Piya
Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters
Pushpita Gupta, Women’s Rights Campaigner and Convenor of Secular Bangladesh Movement
Rafai Aadam, Leader of the SOAS Ex-Muslim Society & The Student Room Ex-Muslim Society Organiser
Rahila Gupta, Writer and Journalist
Ramin Forghani, Ex-Muslims of Scotland Founder
Reza Moradi, Director of Bread and Roses
Ritu Mahendru, Director of South Asian Sexual Health
Robert Stovold, Committee Member of Brighton Secular Humanists
Robyn E. Blumner, President & CEO of Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
Rohini Hensman, Writer and Activist
Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of American Humanist Association
Roy W Brown, International Representative, International Humanist and Ethical Union
Rumana Hashem, Nari Diganta Organiser and Founder of Phulbari Solidarity Group
Rumy Hassan, Author
Sadaf Ali, Writer and Civil Rights Activist
Salim Mansur, Vice President of Muslims Facing Tomorrow
Sally Armstrong, Journalist and Human Rights Activist
Salma Siddiqui, President of Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations
Sanal Edamaruku, President of Rationalist International
Sara Mohammad, Chairwomen for Never Forget Pela and Fadime Organisation
Sarah Haider, Director of Development of Ex-Muslims of North America
Sarah Peace, Founder of Fireproof Library
Sawsan Salim, Director of Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation
Secular Policy Institute
Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Selma Dabbagh, Author and Lawyer
Shaheen Heshmat, Writer
Shahla Daneshfar, Coordinator of Workers’ Solidarity Network of the Middle East and North Africa
Sheila Crosby, Author
Shelley Segal, Singer and Songwriter
Shirkat Gah
Soad Baba Aissa, Feminist
Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Campaigner
South Asian Sexual Health
Southall Black Sisters
Stasa Zajovic, WiB Belgrade
Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe
Sukhwant Dhaliwal, co-editor of Women Against Fundamentalism: Stories of Dissent and Solidarity
Sultana Kamal, Women’s Rights Defender
Taher Djafarizad, President of Neda Day Association
Tahira Abdullah, Human Rights Defender
Taslima Nasrin, Author
Tehmina Kazi, Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Terence Waites, Head of Teesside Humanists
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society
The Angelou Centre
Tolga Inci, President of Ateizm Dernegi
Tom Holland, Writer and Historian
Valerie Mainstone, Committee Member of Brighton Secular Humanists
Wahid Rahman, President of Queen Mary Atheism, Secularism and Humanism Society
Waleed Al-Husseini, Palestinian blogger and Founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of France
Women in Black Belgrade
Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Women’s Action Forum Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore and Peshawar
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Columnist
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Yasmin Weaver, Trustee of Aurat: Supporting Women in the Midlands
Zahra Asli, Coordinator of Friends of Women in the Middle East Society

For more information, please contact:

Maryam Namazie
One Law for All
International Front for Secularism
077 1916 6731

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Zionists stole my shoe and other such nonsense

Never a dull day when it comes to the deluded rantings of Imams and other Muslim activists. Recently we've been told by Saudi clerics that the Earth doesn't revolve around the Sun, it is forbidden to make snowmen under Islamic law after a rare snowfall in Saudi Arabia...and swallowing semen is Haram. Personally I just think these people make it up as they go along to try and control the minds of whoever is stupid enough to take them seriously.

Then there is complete and utter paranoid lunacy.

Lost a shoe?

Yes that right, the Zionists are responsible. Mossad have entered your premises and taken a shoe to wind you up.

So says Asghar Bukari, founding member of Muslim Public Affairs Committee:

Laugh, nearly fell off me chair!

What is it with these people. Do they live in an alternate reality to the rest of us or are they simply deranged attention seekers. Personally I think the latter though they are the best adverts for apostasy and atheism I can think of.

Rather than worry about Mossad or any other Jewish conspiratorial theory I think he needs to call...

Who you gonna call? John Rees? George Galloway?

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Integration not separation. No religious privilege!

The election of John Biggs as Mayor of Tower Hamlets was a major step forward in the fight against separatist communalism. The legacy of Rahman and his cronies remains to be cleared up but now at least a semblance of normality can break out in the former East London caliphate.

This comes not long after George Galloway's well deserved defeat in Bradford, where according to accounts I have read he had surrounded himself with a particularly nasty group of individuals who will now have to look elsewhere for their "kicks".  Georgey boy himself has set off to London to try and appeal to the Muslim community to back his next carpetbagging political campaign to be Mayor of London.

London based Muslims might wish to be aware that Galloway lost his seat for a number of reasons. First his absenteeism since he likes earning a pretty penny or two from Russian TV and Press TV (Iranian Government propaganda channel) and wandering around the world promoting himself.

The other reason Galloway lost was because of a backlash against his targeting of Naz Shah, a victim of forced marriage in her youth.

However returning to Tower Hamlets I was reminded of this comment by the Rahmanite candidate Rabina Khan in the Socialist Worker rag:

“This election is more than a referendum on my predecessor—Tower Hamlets needs to think about its future. But I was very disappointed with the judgement.

“It implied that Tower Hamlets voters are easily led, and I think it raises serious concerns about our democracy.”

Err not quite "comrade", the judgement ruled there had been clear corruption in the election and intimidation. AS for "easily led", given the local Imams sent out a letter telling Muslims it was their "religious duty" to vote for Rahman (  clear breach of electoral law by the way) there was gross interference in the democratic process which neither she not her far-left backers have ever admitted was a problem despite all the evidence.

Unlike some countries, especially those with so-called Sharia Law imposing one religious belief over all other concerns including justice, we have a fair and open legal system in the UK. Oh mistakes can happen before anyone starts bleating but for the vast majority of cases our legal system works.

And it is this that British Muslims must consider. You have chosen the UK as your home. I and most other people do not have a problem with that, but this is not and never will be an Islamic state and it is those who seek to keep you separate and integrated from the rest of us that are the cause of your real problems rather than the perceived slights that nutters like Anjem Choudary and George Galloway rant about.

In this country we expect basic human rights and that includes the right to believe in whatever religion one chooses. However this right also brings responsibilities. Religious practises are secondary to the common law of the land. Women, Gays, and others have rights. No religion has any right to discriminate and that is not negotiable because no religion should have privilege over the rest of us.

Islam is just one religion. There are actually hundreds practises in this country, some large some very small. There are also those of us who simply do not believe.

Accept that and the road to integration can begin. Reject that and other peoples distrust of Islam which is (wrongly) called "Islamophobia" will continue.

AS an aside Saudi Arabia became Chair of the United Nations Religious Tolerance committee. (no laughing at the back), probably as a "back hander" to compensate them for not getting the leadership of the Human Rights one!  (Two words Raif Badawi)

Simultaneously Saudi Arabia has announced no churches or places of worship for other faiths can be built in the Saudi state. Tolerance indeed. Not.

Saudi Arabia is a net exporter of religious hate and intolerance and Misogyny. Women aren't allowed to drive in the Apartheid Islamic state. 

As for sport, just listen to this jerk in the video below.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Why do the left only want Israel made a "secular" state?

Flag of Israel.svg

The "anti-imperialist" "left" (if you can call them that these days) never fail to amaze me with their one sided anti-Western, anti-Israel rhetoric. The Stop the War Coalition of fools website published an article by  Gary Leech from the American publication Counterpunch (not to be confused with the equally venal Counterfire run by StWC head honchos Lyndsey German and John Rees.

In an age where Islam(ism) is on a violent and aggressive bent you'd think that worlds only "Jewish" state would be the least of anyones worries except the fascists of Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest that infest the Middle east with their bile and Hate.

ISIS is on the rampage across Syria and Iraq committing genocide against not only other religious minorities such as the Christians and Yazadi's, but also against any brand of Islam they see as apostasy. At the same time women are taken into slavery (justified by the Prophet they say) and sex with them is not considered rape under their "Sharia" laws.

Slavery, murder, imperialist conquest by a death cult of gangsters. Anyone remember the last time the anti-imperialist brigade organised a demonstration about these crimes against humanity? Nah me neither. That's because the comrades are far from interested. They only seek to destroy the only proper democracy in the region Israel.

Because the West supports it.

The author of this polemic claims it is not anti-Semitic to be anti-Zionist. Possible but then goes on to make a demand about Israel that the comrades of the "left" do not place on any other country across the region. He demands a "democratic secular state" for Christians Jews and Muslims. Problem is this means the destruction of the state of Israel which given the prevailing hatreds across that part of the world would lead to genocide.

Christians, Jews, B'hai and other minorities are all treated as second class citizens in most Muslim countries. Islam is the basis of these sates laws. Ask the Copts in Egypt about "apartheid", where they have their daughter kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men.

Women who under Sharia have only half the rights of men (if that in practise) are suffering from real not false apartheid. Saudi Arabia won't even let women drive. It's because these men are afraid of losing their position under Islam to women's rights.

Oh and Comrades where is freedom of religion in not just Saudi Arabia (where there are no churches) and in Brunei where the Sultan is imposing Islamic law on no-Muslims.

Only one step away from ISIS... most Muslim countries.

But the comrades ignore all this because they believe the destruction of Israel will be a blow against imperialism. And of course the casualties will only be Jews after all.

The anti-imperialist brigade try to justify their stance by claiming the Jewish state is a colonial one, forgetting real history and the fact that Jews (and Christan's where in these lands (and others long before the warlord Muhammad and his followers spread their faith by the sword.

This short video illustrates Islam's aggressive expansion. Please note that this is the world ISIS want to create.

Hardly the religion of peace...

It is Islam that is a colonial implant. Not Israel.

Not that facts ever bother the ideologically or theologically motivated that unite to undermine the actual free and secular world.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tribunal sides with employer over Muslim who said request to wear shorter, ankle-length jilbab was “against her morals”

Cross-post from the National Secular Society

Tribunal sides with employer over Muslim who said request to wear shorter, ankle-length jilbab was “against her morals”

An Employment Appeal Tribunal has found that a Muslim woman was not discriminated against when told that her jilbab posed a tripping hazard.

A Muslim woman, named only as Ms T Begum, was offered an apprenticeship in a nursery, but was asked by a manager if she could wear a jilbab which did not extend over her feet- as it could pose a tripping hazard for children and staff.

Ms Begum had worn a jilbab during the interview which the manager said would not be suitable for working in the nursery because of its length. Instead she was asked to wear a slightly shorter garment.

Despite not objecting at the time, the claimant said that "she had been insulted" by the request and that the requirement that she wear an ankle-length jilbab, rather than one which covered her feet and touched the floor, was "against her morals and beliefs."

She claimed that she had been "discriminated against" because of her "ethnic/cultural background."

The Judge dismissed the case and noted that the woman in question "was only asked if she might wear a shorter version of the [jilbab] she wore to the interview", and was not told she could not wear the religious garment at all.

According to the ruling, "at no point was she told that she could not wear a jilbab while working at the nursery."

The Judge concluded that the policy was not "indirectly discriminatory to Muslim women" and that the health and safety policy "applied equally to staff of all religions". The Judge noted that even if the policy did "put some Muslim women at a particular disadvantage", it was a proportionate means of "protecting the health and safety of staff and children."

The ruling also pointed out the nursery employed four Muslim women who all wore hijabs, and that they were accommodated by their employer who facilitated time off for Ramadan and for prayers.

An NSS spokesperson commented, "Clearly the health and safety of staff and children is the priority here. There is not an unlimited right to manifest your religion in the workplace. The employer made a very reasonable, practical request, and we are pleased to see the Judge siding with them."

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The far left rally to Rahman in Tower Hamlets

The election for Mayor in Tower Hamlets is being re-run due to the incumbent Lutfur Rahman being found guilty of electoral malpractice. As yet nobody else to my knowledge has been charged with anything despite it being patently obvious that he did not and could not have acted alone. That's a matter for the courts and the electorate if they the latter are allowed a free and democratic election this time.

The Tower Hamlets First group of councillors which was the organisation that clearly benefited from the shenanigans perpetrated by the former Mayor remain intact and is running a candidate, one Rabina Khan, a sitting councillor is Rahman's choice.

Next Thursday the voters of Tower Hamlets will make their choice. This time without "undue spiritual influence" one hopes as it's pretty clear that the local Imams overplayed their hand last time in pursuit of the "community" or "communal" interest.

The far left has been active in the area. An attempt by the Socialist Party to run a Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate was scuppered by the Socialist Workers Party through the use of a "veto" which prevents the Coalition from taking action when used. The SWP have few friends and trying to remain on good terms with the Rahamnites is one of their few options.

How the former Militant comrades feel about this is not known but the fact a veto had to used illustrates an argument certainly did take place within the tiny TUSC.

Meanwhile The Rahmanites have gained support from an unexpected quarter. The self proclaimed Communist Party of Great Britain, the ones that publish the left gossip sheet, the Weekly Worker. They declare in their rag:

The Provisional Central Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain urges a vote for Rabina Khan in this election. We do so critically, and on the basis of the political context and the meaning it gives to this vote.

The CPGB opposes the existence of directly elected mayors, presidents, officers and so on. Such constitutional arrangements are Bonapartist and inherently make the officers so elected unaccountable. The Tories are actively attempting to impose mayors on local authorities in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, because they will increase patronage and cronyism (as well as corruption).

Clear as mud that is. Mayors are inherently corrupt and this all "Bonapartism" anyway. Do any normal people mention such out of date Marxist tripe these days? Bonapartism indeed. Do the workers care I ask myself? Doubt it.

Problem is as the Communist comrades actually state themselves:

Assume, as we have to, that the decisions on issues of fact in the judgement of Richard Mawrey QC in the Tower Hamlets election petition case are largely correct.....

We do not support Rahman’s regime in Tower Hamlets, or favouritism towards the ‘Muslim community’ or particular sections of it.

Yet they call for a vote for someone belonging to Tower Hamlets first, which so obviously benefited from Rahman's antics. The pandering to "anti-austerity" messages in her election material is just "left cover" for yet another communalist candidate.

The CPGB joins Counterfire, the SWP in promoting candidates whose religiosity will divide the community. So much for Marx's maxim that "Religion is the opiate of the people", even in age where it's more likely to be football that distracts the workers this represents the final capitulation of the left to Islam(ism) in the comrades hunt for an audience.

Not a healthy move, especially in a time when a large majority of people both in this country see Islam as a threat due to so many of it's adherents not only failing to integrate in mainstream society but a quite large and vociferous section of it actually opposing being subject to secular laws.

Tower Hamlets First and the far left in it's various forms including the mis-named Stop the War Coalition pander to a dangerous agenda that divides the Muslim community from the rest of society granting the "religion of intolerance" a special status it does not deserve any more than any other religion.

What is needed is a broad secular alternative. Separtism should not and must not be an option.

And Tower Hamlets should vote for the Labour candidate on June 11th. 


Everyone in Tower Hamlets has been let down by Lutfur Rahman, especially those who put their trust in him. It is because of the corruption and illegal practises of Lutfur Rahman that the people of Tower Hamlets will go to the polls again on 11 June to elect a new Mayor faced with the task of uniting our borough and getting on dealing with the big challenges families face in our Tower Hamlets.

My priority will be serving local people. Faced with five more years of Tory Government, Tower Hamlets needs a Mayor who will fight to protect and improve our public services. On health, we need protect funding for health centres, GPs and services for mental health. On education, we need to keep up the pressure for excellence and improving standards across our schools, ensuring we have an inclusive vision that looks to the future.

Vote John Biggs Labour

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Time for the Labour and trade union movement to break from the past

The re-election of a majority Conservative government has begun to open the old divides with both the Labour Party and inside and between the trade unions.

The Labour "left" and their fellow travellers have begun to swing behind Jeremy Corbyn one of the old style anti imperialist brigade. One of the unofficial Labour Party Face Book Forums has seen a lot of favourable comments in his support as some still want a "hard left" alternative. Others think his candidature will open a necessary debate. On the latter I hope they are right, because the "old left" in all it's forms has failed in every measure you can apply.

Labour Party(and trade union) members have to decide whether they want to achieve some reforms or none. The continuing adherence of many to a hard line ideological approach is no longer viable. It's one thing to be "anti-austerity", it's another to extrapolate out of that a need for one of these outdated "socialist" programmes.

The current "left" has failed.

The basis of the lefts failure is their age old "vanguardism" obvious in some of the more openly hard line groups like the Socialist Workers Party or the remains of Militant in the Socialist Party, but less so amongst the broader Labour left. Their ideas are all "top down" influenced by Marxism/Leninism whether they themselves are conscious of the fact.

The "left" claims to have the answers if only the "workers" would listen. Except there's a problem. Most people do not want full bloodied socialism. History has shown us time and time again that this just doesn't work. From the experience of the Soviet Union, through China to the state of North Korea today that experience has literally been bloody.

What people want is fair treatment. A fair days pay for a fair day's work. Access to a working NHS, a welfare system that provides a real safety net for those in need not a life style for the indolent, a proper democratic say in the way our country and society is run and freedom.

The old "left" has developed away from the notions of free speech. Jeremy Corbyn's appearance at an anti Charlie Hebdo rally does not impress nor do the actions of some Stop the war leaders who seem stood by Cage when Jihadi John was exposes. he was not a "nice man". He is a mass murderer. What was John Res thinking when he appeared at their press conference?

Our rights are under attack both to access to the NHS and our right to free speech. Yet large sections of the left wish to pull the UK out of the European Union, the only body that has legislation that we will be able to turn to as the Tories push back our rights in the workplace even further.

A withdrawal from the EU will lead to a further bonfire of our rights. Do the left deliberately seek a strategy they think will make life even worse to push unwilling workers towards the so-called revolution they desire?

I despair of the left that exists today.

What we need for the future is a modernised Labour Party built up from the grass roots that recognises both  economic and political reality. Trade unions that speak for it's members rather than the views of political activists who parasitically substitute themselves for the "rank & file".

There is of course no easy answer and it will take time for change to happen, but change it must. Otherwise the Labour & trade union movement will remain stuck in the past and only those they claim to wish to help will continue to suffer.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

A question of immigration

The Times ran a headline this morning which not only caught my attention but made me think once again about the question of immigration. It simply read Migrant surge as job curb ends. This was a reference to the number of Romanians who have secured the right to work in the UK. Would this provide more ammunition for the likes of UKIP? Or have we been here before?

The fact is that every so often "facts" are presented to us in different ways depending on the outcome the writer wants. The Times article (unlike the tabloids) at least attempted a factual and informative approach. Nevertheless the arguments are likely to come to the fore as the "kick 'em all out" and "let them all in" brigades begin another round of posturing as we head towards a referendum on membership of the EEC.

The question of what to do about immigration is a perennial problem that has it's roots in arguments going back much further than Britain's entry into the European Union back in the day.  In the thirties it was about Jews. In the fifties and sixties it was about Blacks and Asians. Nowadays its..err white people from Eastern Europe.

The fact is that Britain like every other country throughout history has had waves of immigration and it has to be said migration because that is how humanity has developed and moved forward.

That said Britain like every other country in the world has a right to decide if there are limitations to this process and a serious discussion needs to take place.

It occurs to me that for far to long the (far) right and (far) left have dominated the debate with extreme positions that are neither sustainable or realistic and are simply ideologically motivated or in some cases simply racist. The lefts use of the immigration question has not always been savoury as some groups have preyed on immigrant communities in the name of "solidarity" (read self interest of the groups concerned) and themselves are responsible for the current problems we face.

The far right of course is much clearer in it's intent and simply uses scaremongering to appeal to the section of the white working class that feels it has been forgotten.

Simply put we as a nation need to move away from these extremes to instigate a rational and open debate without fear of false accusations of racism when immigration controls and measures are discussed.

Neither immigration or migration will be stopped. People will always move around the world. It's the way humanity needs to be.

That said there cannot possibly be unfettered immigration because no society ours included can cope. The argument that Britain is a small island has some validity, but it has to be remembered there are huge numbers of Brits living in EU countries, in Spain there are some 1 million.

The coming referendum will see UKIP and the Socialist Party (militant) campaigning to get us out of Europe. That in itself says a lot to me. I believe we should stay in Europe, least of all because if we leave so many "rights" we have in the workplace through EEC legislation would be thrown on the bonfire by the right.

Much remains to be looked. Human Rights are important, but the current act does need reform. We cannot and should not allow certain categories of criminals who come to the UK to remain by bleating about their rights when they have abused our hospitality to the extreme. Like most people I do not care what happens to a murderer, rapist or child abuser if they are returned to their countries of origin. The state exists to protect it's citizens.

Those who come here and commit serious or habitual crime should not be welcome. This is just one of a number of issues that needs to be addressed because that's what the majority of people regardless of colour or ethnicity believe is right.

The shrill calls I hear already from the "comrades" do not deter me from considering these questions openly and calmly.

Rights come with responsibilities. Something the left in particular do not either address or even bother themselves about. The right simply do not care. The majority of us wish a fair debate with a rational solution.

The referendum will or should allow us to have this debate and more. Those on the extremes of politics should not be allowed to hijack this discussion about our futures.

Neither UKIP or the SWP! Seems like a slogan to me! 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Charles Kennedy - As he should be remembered

Like most people turning on the news this morning I was quite shocked to hear of the passing away of Charles Kennedy the former leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Unlike most politicians he came over as quite a nice chap and his appearances on Have I Got News For You were always impressive. So here's a little clip of how I would like to remember him.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Now PCS falls out with Prospect

If there is one thing Mark Serwotka the vainglorious General Secretary of PCS is good at, it's managing to fall out with anybody and everybody that doesn't agree with his "vision" for the working class. Relations between the varios civil service unions have been "strained" for years.

PCS forced the closure of the Council of Civil Service Unions some years back by threatning to veto everything if it wasn't. The reason? Serwotka, Lanning and the Socialist Party thought they should have the final say over everything regardless of what the other unions thought. Then there was the debacle over threatening a strike in the Border Agency on an 11% turnout the day before the Olympics started which brought the Sword of Damocles down on the unions heads.

The other unions (including those outside the civil service were furious) and we're paying for Serwotka's folly to this day. Talk about handing the Tories our collective heads on a plate!

Still you'll be pleased to know that Serwotka still hasn't learn't any lessons. It's his sandpit and we're all supposed to do what he says. Only the other unions aren't having it.

Relations with Prospect (and the FDA I would imagine) have hit rock bottom.

The following letter has been sent to Prospect Branch Secretaries in the Civil Service on 27th May 2015:

Dear Colleagues

Relations with PCS

I am disappointed to be writing to you about the deteriorating relationship with PCS at a national level. My purpose in doing so is to ensure that Prospect Civil Service branches and representatives are aware of what we see as the position, rather than what may be portrayed by elements within PCS following their conference last week.

At the outset of the PCS conference on 19 May, Mark Serwotka, the PCS General Secretary, chose to describe both Prospect and FDA as a ‘disgrace’ in relation to certain matters. This outburst occurred on more than one occasion in his opening presentation to PCS delegates.

It seems that two matters animated this attack. Firstly, it was a ‘disgrace’ according to PCS that Prospect had negotiated facility time for delegates to attend our Civil Service Sector conference, whereas PCS had not been similarly successful for all their delegates attending their conference. I leave Prospect representatives to reflect on the wisdom of drawing attention to this matter from their conference platform in this manner.

Secondly, Prospect and FDA were branded a ‘disgrace’ because we recently wrote to PCS raising concerns about certain aspects of policy and approach to industrial relations within the Civil Service. That correspondence had not been circulated by Prospect but was divulged in a partial and self-serving form by the PCS General Secretary.

The facts

It is never edifying for trade unions to disagree in public. We acknowledge the strong working relationships that exist in parts of the civil service within departmental trade union groups. However, relationships with the national leadership of PCS have been increasingly difficult in recent years. This has largely been because they have pursued their agenda with little or no preparedness to engage with other unions operating in this sphere and no regard for the effect their actions will have on those unions. 

They have largely refused to reach agreements on the bargaining agenda and regularly criticised other Unions where we have reached an accommodation with government. It would seem it is PCS’s way or no way Unions should be able to co-exist even where there are some fundamental differences of opinion. However our position must not be misrepresented so it is vital that Prospect representatives know the position from our perspective. The following correspondence is relevant:
  • My letter of 9 January 2013 telling PCS we were taking stock of our position in the face of their submission of their own national demands to Francis Maude in December 2012 (also attached) which were never the subject of any prior discussion with the National Trade Union Council (NTUC); 
  • My letter of 4 February 2013 inviting discussions with PCS to achieve some common ways forward. That letter received no acknowledgement or response;
  • A PCS letter of 20 February 2015 circulated to all Trade Union General Secretaries. This dealt with matters specific to the Civil Service (facility time and check off removal) which directly affected Prospect members. PCS had determined the shape and scope of this ‘campaign’ as they saw it, painting the scenario that PCS were the only union suffering from those matters, without any prior consultation with similarly affected Unions, primarily Prospect, FDA, Unite and GMB;
  • My response to PCS of 27 February, which was the subject of endorsement of the senior elected officers of Prospect, both nationally and within the Civil Service. The PCS response of 13 March 2015 is also attached. The matter rested there and we chose not to respond further. 
  • My letter of 20 May following the remarks at the PCS conference.
Next Steps

I said at the outset that is disappointing to have to write to Prospect representatives in this manner but the comments criticising Prospect were made to an annual conference composed of PCS delegates who will be returning to their Union work alongside Prospect colleagues, such as you, so our position must be clear.

We want to maintain the good working relationships at local level but any form of relationship nationally is now in jeopardy. This has also happened exactly at the time when we need to be seen to be united and when we need to be reflecting on how we influence a government that has more challenging plans ahead for the Civil Service and when we will need to be imaginative in how we succeed for members in this environment.

There has to be a place for dialogue, negotiation and progress. It cannot all be about constant reference to confrontation. There is undoubtedly a need for robust responses if dialogue fails but one of the most noticeable aspects of the speech by the PCS General Secretary is his admission that their national ballot turnouts have never topped 42% and have been steadily declining. Some reflection on what this says about their strategy and its appeal to members would perhaps have benefited everyone but it seems the conclusion is that all that is needed is more of the same. Prospect and FDA are then at fault for not blindly following the PCS ‘lead’.

The Prospect Civil Service conference is on 3 June and we will gather the night before when I am looking forward to speaking to delegates at the dinner. That conference is our opportunity to reflect and start to chart our direction in the aftermath of the election and the broader dynamics of devolvement of powers to the nations.

We should be determined to address the major issues before us: how to relate to the new government, renew the debate about the purpose and vitality of the civil service, challenge people policies that are damaging such as the approach to performance management and give members hope that the next five years can be different to the previous five. That is what we will concentrate upon and need your help in achieving.

Yours sincerely

Mike Clancy

General Secretary

Musical Interlude - LIVE with Scandal!

Time for a quick musical interlude with my favourite band at the moment...Scandal!

The girls have recently been on a world tour and performed in the UK. Wasn't able to go but if the following performance from 2011 is anything to go by I bet it was a blast!

So here are Scandal who consist of Haruna Oni (vocals/guitar), Tomomi Ogawa (vocals/bass), Mami Sasazaki (lead guitar)and Rina Suzuki (drums)  with guest singer Shoko Nakagawa (she's in the blue dress) singing Don't say Lazy.