Sunday, 31 January 2016

Black lives matter! Time to deal with Boko Haram

Logo of Boko Haram.svg

With the worlds eyes firmly focused on Syria, Iraq and ISIS there is a growing tendency to not just overlook but forget the very real tragedy going on every day in Nigeria.

The Independent reports today:

Boko Haram extremists have burned a number of children to death in a hours-long attack that has left at least 65 people dead.

According to an eyewitness survivor - who hid in a tree to escape the attack - the terrorists set fire to the village of Dalori and shot people attempting to flee in the country’s north-east on Saturday evening.

Alamin Bakura said the shootings and burnings continued for four hours and he had lost several of his own family members in the attack.

The violence then continued as three female suicide bombers followed the survivors who managed to flee to the neighbouring village of Gamori before blowing themselves up - killing many more people.

Although these Jihadist extremists have been causing mayhem for some years, they only really came to peoples attention when they kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls at gunpoint, most of him remain missing to this day.

Boko Haram are responsible for at least 20,000 deaths and have driven over 2 million people out of their homes. 

Like ISIS (to whom they have now declared their allegiance) their murderous rampage knows no boundaries as they indiscriminately kill men, women and children.

Like ISIS they also enslave women.

Meanwhile the world does almost nothing to help the under-armed and frankly ill trained troops of the Nigerian army.

Even worse the left is nowhere in sight. For all it's "anti-imperialist" pretensions their energy is always firmly focused elsewhere. 

The plague of Islamic fundamentalism is clear for all to see whether in the Middle East, North Africa or Nigeria. The time has come to stand up to these monsters who hide their criminality behind religion and deal with this menace.

Black lives matter.

Where are the so-called Stop the War Campaign and their fellow travellers? 

Where indeed.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Free Fatima Naoot. Defend Free Speech!

The news that Fatima Naoot has been sentenced to three years in an Egyptian prison just for expressing an opinion about animal rights on Facebook is an attack on both free speech and Human rights.

According to last week:

Fatima Naoot described Prophet Abraham's dream — in which, according to Abrahamic faiths, God told him to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith — as a "nightmare." Before Abraham can carry out the deed, God provided a sheep instead as a sacrifice.

In her post, the poet criticized the sacrifice of animals on Eid al-Adha, also called the Feast of the Sacrifice, a festival that honors Abraham's willingness to obey God.

"Millions of innocent creatures will be driven to the most horrible massacre committed by humans for ten-and-a-half centuries," she said. "A massacre which is repeated every year because of the nightmare of a righteous man about his good son."

They update with the news that:

Fatima Naoot, an Egyptian secular writer, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of insulting Islam. The charges related to an October 2015 Facebook post which decried the tradition of slaughtering sheep on Eid al-Adha as the “greatest massacre committed by human beings.” She was also ordered to pay a fine of $255.

Her sentence comes into effect immediately, but it is reported that she will be able to appeal from prison.While she did admit to writing the Facebook post, she argued that it was in no way meant to be an insult to Islam.

“I'm not sad about the sentencing as I don't care about going to jail. I'm sad that the efforts of reformists have been wasted,” she told AFP.

The criticism of Islam or any other religion is not a crime and shows the continuing need to fight for the separation of religion and the state.

Free Speech continues attack from fundamentalists and others world wide.

Free Fatima Naoot Now!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Post on Turkish military chant removed.

Whilst this blog expresses my opinions (and those of the occasional Guest or Cross Post), it is not my intention to knowingly publish incorrect or false information.

On 25th January I published an article based on a video posted to both You Tube and Facebook. I have received a note from Ahmet Sezer who says:

None of the words translated correctly... They ARENT saying what the subtitles suggests.

Since I cannot speak Turkish and I have now seen a comment on You Tube itself that gives a different translation I am not in a position to challenge this.

In these circumstances I have found it necessary to remove the post.

The Turks are committing real atrocities against the Kurds and publishing inaccurate or false information does not help their cause. 

I remain a firm and committed supporter of a free Kurdish State.

Apologies to all my readers.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Trevor Phillips gets it wrong

Trevor Philips, the former race equality chief has got himself in a bit of hot water according to The Times yesterday who reported; (no link£)

... it was dis-respectful to suppose Muslim that communities  would change, claiming that they see the world differently from the rest of us.

Philips then says:

"Part of the integration process is for the rest of us to grasp that people are not going to change their views simply because we are constantly telling them to be like us."

I don't know what he  is trying to say here. Our society is full of different groups and individuals who think differently. There are core "British" or rather democratic values that the majority (but not all) do hold.

These are Free Speech and expression, equal rights for all (and that includes women, gays, Jews and those that reject religion including Islam of which the latter are a small but growing number), tolerance, diversity. I could go on but the general drift is clear.

The foundation of this is simply that there should be one law for all.

And yet whilst we would expect to have to abide by Islamic values in their countries of origin, 35 or so of which practice Sharia Law in all it's brutal forms. there are large groups of Muslims who lead separate lives from the rest of society including holding their own courts where equality is not practiced and some of our fellow citizens are discriminated against on a regular basis.

Shari Law courts should not be allowed to operate in this country and it must be an offence to run such vigilante courts because at the end of the day that's exactly what they are.

It doesn't help that the traditional political activists that should stand up for equal rights capitulate at every opportunity to Islam(ism).  Take the defence of the veil published on Left Foot Forward today written by "Young Green" Sarah van de Ham who muses:’s unclear exactly why the niqab might be an obstacle to learning. Muslims have been teaching, learning and otherwise communicating wearing the full-face veil for centuries in Islamic countries all around the world.

Where to start with this reactionary nonsense? Of course the veil is a barrier to communication. If you can only see the eyes of the person wearing them then communication is restricted as non-verbal body language is an important part of social discourse.

The full burqa with veil is not a Koranic prerequisite. It only states that women should dress "modestly". Today's black clad brigade wear a political uniform designed to intimidate other Muslim women first and create a buffer with us non-believers.

All of the other migrant communities in the UK (and there are many) most have successfully integrated in British society. Not perfectly at times but without the resistance seen organised by the fundamentalists and their rather large body of conservative support.

Today's radical have betrayed Human Rights by capitulating to reactionary Islamism. Firstly by the nati-imperialist turn to "Palestinianism" and the complete cowardice shown over the Salman Rushdie affair where the left didn't want to be seen as "racist".

A word comrades. Islam is not and has never been a race. It is just a man-made theology just like every other religion in the world but to whom a political alliance is seen as somehow being "progressive".

The problems of the failure of integration have been seen at it's worst in countries like Sweden and now Germany where such difficulties have been swept under the carpet for too long.

The problem lies in the theology. It has to be challenged. It is not "dis-respectful" to dislike a particular world view, especially when it creates problems on our own doorsteps.

Like most right-minded people I dislike Communism and Fascism. I'm also an atheist who these Islamist types would put to death should I "insult the prophet". Being a Jew would be a bonus for these bigots.

Islam first and foremost oppresses Muslims.

Free yourselves from this medieval outlook and you will see the world in a better light.

There are no virgins waiting for you in heaven. The reason being there is no god or hell it's all a fiction designed by bearded old men to control your lives through superstition and misogyny.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

As anti-Semitism rises Holocaust Day is commemorated

"Menachem taffel" by Source.

When the first concentration camps were liberated by the Russians and then the allies there were many who just didn't, couldn't believe that such horrors could be committed. Then came the newsreels, the pictures, the first hand accounts of man's inhumanity to man.

Six Million Jews were exterminated in these camps and by death squads by the Nazi's around Europe, particularly in Poland, Hungary, Russia and the Baltic states. They found willing helpers, even in the supposedly more "civilised" West such as the French Milche.

But the facts were there. All these innocent men, women and children had been murdered just because they were Jewish.

Of course Jews were not alone in being targeted, but were the the main focus of the Nazi's vicious campaign of "racial purification. Millions of Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals, the disabled and the mentally ill all suffered.

This wasn't the first genocide of the 20th Century either. The Turks exterminated one and a half million Armenian Christians, but only Germany has come to terms with it's historical role in genocide. The Turks not only deny their crimes, but make it a crime to even mention in their country.

For the Kurds facing military assaults from the Turkish military as I write such denial is frightening.

Even worse is the world standing by as not just Yazadi's are exterminated or their women taken into sexual slavery but also Christians face ethnic cleansing in their homelands by the machinations of not just ISIS, but other intolerant Islamic forces.

Those that would be expected to protest against the rise of such murderous barbarity include the left. However today's radicals have morphed from anti-Zionism and anti-imperialism into what can only be seen as a new form of fascism. For then anti-Semitism is at best a distraction in their perceived fight against democracy and freedom. Islamists cannot be criticised no matter what they do lest it interfere with the new alliance of the new fascist left and their anti-imperialist allies.

The destruction of Israel is their goal. All other considerations are pushed aside.

These "useful fools" as Lenin would have described them try to re-write history ignoring Ottoman oppression that existed in pre-mandate Palestine that prevented not just Jews but other non-Muslims from owing land or having rights.

Some of these campaigners even resort to being Holocaust deniers because this event more than anything led to the creation of the state of Israel. The British Palestine Solidarity campaign was forced to expel it's former Chair, Francis Clark-Lowes from their organisation for being a "Holocaust denier". Even then 20% of their conference delegates voted against. There are obviously people in the PSC who cannot and should not be trusted. Ever.

Across Europe the rise of anti-Semitism has been seen amongst communities influenced not just by Islamist extremists but the new left fascists as well. In Eastern Europe the far right has risen to prominence in both Poland and Hungary, both countries traditionally associated with such prejudices.

The future is not bright for the worlds Jews or for that matter the Kurds, Yazadi's, Christians in Muslim countries or Tibet where the Communist regime has been populating their country with ethnic Han Chinese to try and change forever the ethnic makeup of a once free country.

I do not trust most of the modern left because their "caring" is shallow and politically motivated by a blinkered and nefarious agenda.

But one thing I do know that we will not go quietly into the night again. Nor will the Kurds who like the Jews will not surrender to those that would destroy us.

Fighting talk. Yes.

A necessary statement that censorship, boycotts, terrorism and thuggery will not break us.

Remember this day so it will not happen again? It already is. There are new fascists in this world and they must be stood up against.

Otherwise next they will come for your freedoms.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Regressive Left: An Exposure

This recently published video on You Tube is well worth watching for the full 17 or so minutes it runs.

Covering the full range of interconnecting issues from free speech to Jeremy Corbyn and friends it brilliantly makes the case against the anti-imperialist so called left that betrays women, gays and Jews and of course you the reader.

First they came for......

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Cultural capitulation and beards

"Bearded Pigs2" by Art G. from Willow Grove, PA, USA

Beards have been in the news over the last couple of days highlighting not just that age old male pre-occupation of "shall I shave today" but with a political and theological dynamic.

In Takjikstan the police have forced some 13,000 men to shave their beards off in a campaign against fundamentalist Islam. In addition over 160 shops and stalls selling hijabs and veils were shutdown and some 1700 women persuaded to reject head wear.

The Independent reports:

At a press conference yesterday, the Muslim-majority central Asian country’s law enforcement services revealed that the facial hair of 12,818 men had been “brought to order” for being “overly long and unkempt”, according to the Radio Liberty news site.

The measures are part of the secular leadership’s efforts to battle apparent “radicalism” and “unwelcome traditions from neighbouring Afghanistan”, according to Aljazeera.

The news site reports that, in recent months, the country’s parliament has voted to ban Arabic-sounding foreign names and marriages between first cousins, while its Supreme Court has banned the country’s sole Islamic political party, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan.

President Emomali Rahmon, who has been in power since 1992, has worked to promote secularism in the country and has been seen to discourage beliefs and practices that could cause the country instability.

Such measures of course are quite extreme attacks on personal liberty and the freedom of worship we expect in the West and have inevitably drawn the ire of human rights activists. Pity some of these activists don't spend as much effort on condemning the forced practises of Islam across the world in countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei. Just saying.

Meanwhile in the UK The Bishop of London, The Right Reverend Richard Charte has not only grown a beard but is encouraging vicars in areas with large Muslim populations to grow beards.

According to one of his acolytes quoted in The Times (no link£), the Reverend Cris Rodgers:

My Muslim friends find the beard almost gives authenticity to my faith.

Not the word "almost". 

They need to grow a pair all right, but it's nothing to do with beards.

This is not what the politically correct call "cultural appropriation", it's actually cultural  capitulation. Cowardice.

No one should have to adapt the way they choose to live, dress or believe to get respect.

It means these men do not respect themselves or their own beliefs if they pander to others.

It's just plain wrong.

Respect works both ways and capitulating to other peoples prejudices is not the way forward.

Friday, 22 January 2016

George Galloway blames Israel for killing Litvinenko

While the world's press uncover the truth about Putin's involvement with the murder of Russian dissident Litvinenko George Galloway appears on Press TV (Official  mouthpiece of the Iranian government) to blame guess who...the Jews Israel.

Galloway of course has a regular programme on the RT Channel. Which just happens to be the official Russian propaganda TV station.

No conflicts of interest then George?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The strange world of Saudi Clerics

A selection of black and white chess pieces on a chequered surface.

When a rare fall of snow occurred in Saudi Arabia there came the inevitable fatwa from one of the increasing deranged clerics that "building snowmen" was harem, forbidden by Islam. It wasn't long before even Saudis were taking the piss out of the ruling and tweets of snowmen appeared on the net.

All forgotten for now.....

However the issue of Chess has become an object of Wahhabi wrath as reported today in the London Evening Standard:

Chess has been ruled as forbidden in Islam by a top scholar in Saudi Arabia who claimed the game caused “hatred” between players.

Grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh issued the strange fatwa when he answered a question during his weekly television show.

In response to one viewer’s question, he said: “The game of chess is a waste of time and an opportunity to squander money. It causes enmity and hatred between people.”

He went on to compare chess with maisir, a game forbidden by the Quran, in which players shoot arrows without feathers to win pieces of camel meat.

Although highly influential, the grand mufti has no legal authority, meaning the game has not been banned.

This isn't the first time some nutty cleric has attacked chess:

After the 1979 Islamic revolution, the game was banned in public on the count of encouraging gambling, and players went underground with their boards and pieces. In 1988, when Iran’s spiritual leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, rehabilitated the game, chess made a triumphant comeback, spawning chess parks, chess palaces and budding chess champions.

It's a pity these clerics can't issue fatwas about something important like say the genocide of the Yazadis, the mass rape of women or any of the other atrocities committed in the name of their faith.

And they wonder why the religion of peace gets such a bad press...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Momentum splits before its first Committee meeting

The far-left umbrella organisation Momentum has had more than it's fair share of teething problems since it's transformation from a group set up to get Corbyn elected. Every Trot group under the sun has been heading to the Labour Party in some shape or form even the "big two", the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party have been forced to make some kind of accommodation so as not to be left out in the cold.

This has "forced" some of the more traditional Labour left to disown attempts by members of the SWP or the Socialist Party front the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) from entering Momentum's ranks. Lansman has been working hard to ensure that all positions are held by "Labour Party" members only.

Combined with strong allegations of bullying amongst some of the younger Momentum members attempts to formally establish Momentum as an organised grouping have now floundered with the group now cancelling it's initial National Committee meeting due to be held this weekend.

There are two camps (at least) within Momentum that wish to develop the group in quite different directions. John Lansman and his cohorts from the Labour Representation Committee simply wish Momentum to be a "ginger" group within Labour to force socialism on the party and purge deselect MP's who do not toe the comrades Corbyn's correct line. In order to achieve this he thinks Momentum should only accept Labour Party members.

However the younger members want to build a much wider organisation opening up links with amongst others the Green Party and others to create a much broader social movement. This of course would mean that Momentum would almost if not entirely become an organisation incompatible with Labour Party membership. It remains an expellable offence to stand against or support candidates from other (or no) parties who stand against official Labour Party candidates.

The other area over which there is substantial disagreement over whether Momentum should be a "delegate" organisation or a "representative" organisation.

The momentum is fast being lost and such infighting is adding to the problems faced by the far-left already in place around Corbyn. Socialist Action want to keep the MP's on board on a "steady as you go" piecemeal approach whilst others like Fisher want to push forward the Corbyn "revolution" at a faster pace.

Considering the basis of "socialism" as I understand it is "mutual aid and co-operation" the comrades seem (as usual) of acting or (shock, horror) "compromising" even amongst their own on that basis and falling out big time.

No change there then.

The 57 varieties as they were dubbed in the seventies have changed little. Unable to learn from the lessons of the past as everyone is hell bent on having the "correct line" shows the road to failure merely reflects a historical trend.

Meanwhile Corbyn fails to impress the voters Labour needs to win with his weak and ridiculous comments on everything from shoot to kill terrorists, negotiating with ISIS (the IRA comparison is blatantly absurd) to having Trident submarines without missiles whilst placating every tin-pot aggressor from Hamas to Putin. People quite rightly do not trust this man with their security in an ever dangerous world.

Sadly this left turn will result in another decade or more of Tory government. If that happens then it us ordinary folk who will lose our rights at work, our council homes, our NHS and our futures to the posh boy in number 10.

Corbyn and his supporters are the Tories best friends. But then so long as their "principles" remain intact the rest obviously doesn't really matter.

Time to reclaim Labour from this rabble of incompetent ideologues.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Remembering Dale Griffin (Mott The Hoople)

More sad news for those of us who grew up in the seventies. Dale Griffin passed away today at the age of just 67. Our thoughts are with his family and friends tonight.

Dale was the drummer in Mott The Hoople, one of the finest bands from the seventies who started of in the world of progressive rock and then joined the "Glam Rock" crowd when they released All The Young Dudes, penned coincidently by David Bowie another star recently passed from us.

Whilst at school I religiously followed this through their changes starting with a second hand copy of their first (untitled) album.

But this was the record that pushed them into the well deserved limelight!

Rest in peace Dale.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Labour's momentum to failure with Corbyn

There was much outrage on social media this morning after Jeremy Corbyn argues for "some kind of accommodation" with Argentina during his interview with Andrew Marr. Exactly what that mean and his reluctance to give the people who live there a veto was disturbing.

The Falkland Islands had no indigenous population (unless you count the penguins) when it was fought over and finally colonised by Britain way back when. It is some 800 miles away from the Argentinian coastline and despite their protestations does not belong to them in any shape or form. The population are British and that frankly should be the end of the matter.

But like all these anti-imperialist types Corbyn always defaults to the anti-Western, in this case anti-British case. Disturbing when he and others took Argentina's side during the Falklands war which had it been won by Argentina would have strengthened the very kind of fascist dictatorship these types they say they are against. The Junta lost power following their military defeat and democracy returned to Argentina.

Argentinian politicians still use the issue of what they call the "Malvinas" every time they run into trouble to deflect criticism of their regimes by appealing to base nationalism. The anti-imperialists in th UK seeing the UK (as always) as the villain jump on this for purely ideological reasons. The "enemy" is always at home". The line that the likes of Lydsey German takes for her mis-named Stop the War Coalition of which Corbyn was former Chair.

The anti-imperialists are always very selective about the concept of "self determination". The StWC did not stand against Russian aggression in the Ukraine or Putin's annexation of Crimea. It was all NATO's fault apparently.

The same goes in the Middle East. Israel cannot exist because it is an ally (in their words a tool) of imperialism supposedly oppressing "Palestinians" leading them to support the likes of Hamas ( not a liberation movement but an Islamist outfit, side with Hezbollah and refuse to condemn the use of bombs by Assad and only attack the West..for helping the Kurds survive in the north and the Iraqi's reclaim their country from the genocidal criminals of ISIS.

Most of them reject a two state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict because it would (in the long term) defuse the conflict. The anti-imperialists do not seek peace. Only Israel's destruction and the defeat of the West.

How many of these types do you see on protests to free Tibet? None. Like the survival of Israel or the rights of the Falklanders, their interests are nothing compared to the defeat of so-called "imperialism".

These people are a mixture of ideologues, those who substitute these causes for their own failures and in the case of people like Corbyn, simply fools.

Corbyn's reaction to the Paris attacks and the rise of ISIS and their genocidal actions is simply naive to say the very least. In my view dangerous. When during this interview he refers to ISIS having "strong points" I can only despair.

Will someone remind him of their atrocities including mass murder, rape and slavery. They are evil. Like the Nazi's there can be compromise whatsoever. To suggest otherwise demeans the victims of these savages.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Words fail me...

A couple of news stories caught my attention tonight. The first was a report on the attempted stoning of two transgender women near Cologne railway station (yes that place again) by men of "North African" descent. The Jerusalem Post reports:

BERLIN — Three young men from North Africa were arrested on Saturday in the western German city of Dortmund for stoning two transgender women.

According to a report on Friday on television station SAT1.NRW, the men attacked Yasmine und Elisa, two transgender women, near the city’s main train station.

“Within seconds we were tossed around…and they took stones from a gravel bed on the corner and threw them at us,” said Elisa.

A police car appeared at the train station as the stoning attack unfolded and arrested the men.

The German media as a general rule do not disclose the last names of victims to protect their privacy. The three men are between 16 and 18 years-old and are known to the authorities from theft and assault arrests.

Dortmund police official Kim-Ben Freigang said the suspects told the police that “such persons must be stoned.”

It was that last comment that struck me so much about these men's distorted "world-view". They have previously committed theft and under their own Sharia Laws should surely have expected to have their hand chopped off as I understand it.

The double standards of these youths shows what a real problem integrating a huge number of Asylum seekers all at once in Europe. A report in The Times today shows that the German public has turned against Merkels open door policy quite quickly and with an large number still on the way will force her government to consider it's approach to unfettered immigration.

Meanwhile in Pakistan I was horrified to read this:

A 15-year-old Pakistani boy cut off his own hand believing he had committed blasphemy, only to be celebrated by his parents and neighbours for the act, police told AFP Friday.

Local police chief Nausher Ahmed described how an imam told a gathering at a village mosque that those who love the Prophet Mohammad always say their prayers, then asked who among the crowd had stopped praying.

Mohammad Anwar, 15, raised his hand by mistake after apparently mishearing the question.

The crowd swiftly accused him of blasphemy so he went to his house and cut off the hand he had raised, put it on a plate, and presented it to the cleric, the police chief said.

The incident took place at a village in Hujra Shah Muqeem district, some 125 kilometres (77 miles) south of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, about four days ago, according to the policeman.

Ahmed said that he has seen a video in which the boy is greeted by villagers in the street as his parents proclaim their pride.

A religion without reason.

Words fail me. Barbaric.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Turkish Academics under attack from Erdogan's regime

Flag of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).svg

Over a thousand Turkish academics from 89 Universities have signed a petition demanding that the Turkish government end it's attacks on the Kurdish people and resume peace negotiations with the PKK. The Kurdish Question  published an excerpt from the petition:

"As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!

The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighbourhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.

This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.

We demand the state abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.

We demand the government prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that will lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.

We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met".

Inevitably the academics have come under attack from the Islamist regime run by Erdogan and his cronies prompting some 500 journalists to issue a statement which reads in part:

"We are with the academics who declared that they 'will not be a party to this crime' and who wanted negotiations to resume for a peaceful solution. Academics, the people that educate the future of a country, are being targeted because they called for peace, this is a danger to human rights, freedom of thought and speech. As journalists who also want peace, we are declaring that we are with the academics who said that they 'we will not be a party to this crime', and state that we want to report and make news in an environment of peace and not war."

Turkey must cease attacking the Kurds.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Momentum to set up "party within a party"


As if the Labour Party didn't have enough problems at the moment as the internecine warfare continues unabated we are informed that Momentum is finally to set up a national structure with branches, regional and central national committees. Labour List reports:

The committee will include people elected by regional meetings of delegates from verified local Momentum groups and representatives from affiliated trade unions and leftwing groups, such as the Labour Representative Committee. It will also include representatives from under-represented groups, such as BAME, disability, LGBT and women, to ensure balance. All delegates and committee members will have to be Labour Party members.

The committee will consult with Momentum activists to develop a constitution and structure that enables local groups to organise effectively in their communities; encourages trade union participation at local, regional and national level; and ensures the group is financially sustainable. It is then expected to devolve itself in six month and be replaced by a new committee elected through its new structures.

James Schneider, a spokesperson for the group, told LabourList: “Momentum is excited about the forthcoming formation of our first National Committee. It represents our next stage in creating an inclusive, participatory and effective organisation involving a wide range of stakeholders, including trade unions.”

Quite clearly a "party within a party" similar in practice to the Militant Tendency of old. No doubt a newspaper/magazine will follow at some stage.

Meanwhile it will allow everyone to see who is involved in the Momentum Tendency as no doubt it will be labelled in the media in the coming months.

The main guru is of course Jon Lansman of the soon to be superseded Labour Representation Committee which published Labour Briefing (or one of them anyway, the journals supporters split when Briefing was "handed over" to the LRC).

The proviso for all these "representatives" of the left is that they must be members of the Labour Party. Odd you'd think a ginger group within a political party would only have members in it's ranks. That though is the problem with Momentum.

All the far left groups and their hangers on have decamped to Labour  along with their hangers-on and most ex-trots in sight. Some like Socialist Action have been buried inside Labour for some time acting as Ken Livingstone's lieutenants whilst their main guru, one Jon Ross makes his living in a Chinese University making Stalinist propaganda. Go figure. Ross thinks China is at the forefront of Human Rights because it puts access to modern flushing toilets before such abstract concepts as "free speech".

Most of these "organised" groups are quite small but tend to have influence in such organisations well beyond their actual support should allow. The big two far-left battalions remain outside Labour, but both the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party will attempt to gain influence especially as Momentum is to announce "which unions are affiliated to them" shortly.

As previously reported the General Secretary of PCS, Mark Serwotka is proposing to set up a "Trade Union Momentum", though he will have trouble in getting his union to actually affiliate directly to a Labour Party organisation, he has previously stated he is willing to (try) if Corbyn became leader.

When established the organisation will be difficult for Corbyn's staffers to control and whether they would want to is another question since many of these new "militants" are more than determined to purge Corbyn's parliamentary opponents.

This will fatally undermine the broad church that Labour has always had to be in order to gain actual power. 

It's no good having the right "line" if you are unable to implement anything. I fear these people have learn't nothing from the failings of their "socialist" creed over the years.

The Tories are laughing.

I'm not. 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Musical Interlude - Foxes

Just time to post this beautiful song from Foxes performed at the London Jazz Festival tonight.


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Socialist Party Schizophrenia on Labour

The rise of the far-left in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and the creation of Momentum has caused a problem for the two large Trotskyist groups still outside the party. The attempt of the SWP to get in on the act was rightly seen seen as a shallow opportunist act even by those within Momentum itself and so far seems to have amounted to nothing more than a couple of articles in their unreadable rag Socialist Worker.

Besides the reputation of the Socialist Workers Party remains in complete tatters following the comrade delta affair which has alienated them from nearly every section of the left, student and feminist movement possible.

The Socialist Party however has been caught on the hop so to speak as it has been actively building an alternative to the Labour Party through it's still born Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing candidates on an ultra-left platform at every opportunity. However that project is in tatters nearly everywhere.

The Socialist Party does not seem to know how to cope or indeed survive in this situation. On the one hand we see them take a strange turn in Tower Hamlets where they have linked with the supporters of disgraced Lutfur Rahman, the former Mayor.

On Thursday night the TUSC, no more than a front for the former Militant Tendency these days will be holding a joint meeting with the Tower Hamlets Independent Group who stood against Labour at the last election in the borough. Amongst these acolytes of the fallen Mayor is one Oliur Raham a past PCS activist (of sorts, he never did much more than collect posts to add to his CV).

Now PCS is where the Socialist Party have a large and quite controlling influence within the Left Unity coalition which controls the union. There is according to John McInally:

.. .a longstanding debate on whether it is appropriate for a civil service union to ever affiliate to a political party. While this is an argument that was used by the right-wing in CPSA (predecessor of PCS) it is ingrained in the minds of many members and activists and would only be overcome on the basis of a major campaign of explanation and if political conditions were favourable - ie, if the Labour Party was a genuine anti-austerity party.

There is also the fact that many members and activists believe that only by maintaining political independence can the union apply pressure without fear or favour in order to win concessions and make advances for members' interests. Activists and members would be very wary of giving money to a Labour Party in which the Blairite bureaucracy still controls the party machine and finances. Many would much prefer to give such support by a method that would directly aid Jeremy and John's anti-austerity campaign.

This indicates that the affiliation issue in PCS can only be resolved on the basis of a democratically conducted review of the type PCS has excelled at under its left leadership.

Putting aside the rather tedious self aggrandisement which actually means in practice the usual bureaucratic manoeuvring that the Socialist Party are (in)famous for, they are seeking to influence a proposal by Mark Serwotka to set up a Trade Union Momentum which would allow them to have one foot inside the Labour Party's growing left and maintain their profile (such as it is) outside:

The idea for Trade Union Momentum sprang from the need to build a trade union based anti-austerity movement from outside as well as inside the Labour Party and autonomous from it..

This would be by building in workplaces and communities around the country with affiliations from trade unions, trades councils and individual union members.

Providing a platform for socialists and anti-austerity activists, inclusive of the Socialist Party, the National Shop Stewards Network and others not members of the Labour Party, in a widely based alliance, could be an important, even critical factor in defending the Corbyn/McDonnell leadership and building the anti-austerity movement.

Problem is they don't see eye to eye with the likes of John Lansman, one of Momentums's founders:

The self-appointed leaders of Momentum have retreated under this pressure and have responded to calls from the Blairites and the media to neuter the movement by attempting to exclude socialists and activists who are not Labour Party members, rather than building unity around a clear anti-cuts programme. This is a disastrous strategy and its architects like Jon Lansman, a leader of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, exposes the fact that under the long years of Blairite control they accommodated themselves to that regime.

In plain English the words they are looking for are that these people have sold out already and what is needed is for Momentum to look to the Socialist Party for leadership to build the true party..blah, blah..

In other words the same old reductionist nonsense that has been the basis of far-left cults for..well since forever.

How they intend doing this by linking up with the likes of the Rahamanites in Tower Hamlets shows how schizophrenic their political thinking has become.

And irrelevant. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Trade Unions stand against Corbyn over Trident

The struggle for hegemony inside the Labour Party took yet another twist tonight as leading trade unionists came out against Corbyn over the future of Trident and the defence industry. The Daily Mirror reports:

The GMB's Paul Kenny, who represents 639,000 workers, called a conference of defence workers warning a vote could cost tens of thousands their jobs.

A furious union boss has vowed not to "go quietly into the night" if Jeremy Corbynallows Labour members a ballot on scrapping Trident.

Paul Kenny spoke out today after Mr Corbyn said a poll of 380,000 party members could ditch Labour's pro-nuclear policy after 25 years - reducing the say of the shadow cabinet, conference and national executive.

But the GMB general secretary, who represents 639,000 workers, warned tens of thousands of them could lose their jobs.

Mr Kenny hit back by announcing he will call a special conference of Britain's defence workers to ask their view.

Corbyn will also face opposition from Unite the Union as Daily Telegraph reported shortly after the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle:

McCluskey's power comes from his union and Unite are an engineering union – they organise the skilled engineers in the defence industry. And, as a consequence of amalgamations, a lot of the white collar technicians too. Unsurprisingly, it is Unite policy to renew Trident – it is what the members want because they work in Barrow building the submarines and in Faslane maintaining them. Unless Unite policy is changed then Labour Party policy won't change. That was shown at conference last year when – just after Corbyn's leadership – support for Trident was left unchanged.

It is highly unlikely that Unite will decide that it should support a policy change that would put its members out of work. It is even less likely that Len McCluskey will risk his own internal authority in the union – from which he derives his power in the Labour Party – on making his own members redundant.

The policy will not go down with Labour voters or the public in general either as the world is an increasingly dangerous place with North Korea exploding an H Bomb (much to the consternation of the Chinese, let alone anyone else) and terrorism remains the main threat to world stability.

In order to defend ourselves there is a need to retain not just armed forces ready to act on behalf wherever they are needed but also and strong and viable indigenous defence industry with a skilled work force to produce British weaponry as required for our  defence.

Britain's defence cannot be undermined by the anti-Western clique around Corbyn. Only our enemies will gain from this. the struggle for Labour is more than just for a party it is also for our nation.

Corbyn cannot be trusted nor can his friends.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Time to discuss uncomfortable truths about migrant crime

The recent influx of migrants, mostly but not entirely from the Syrian conflict has seen public concern both rise in sympathy as photographs appeared of dead children on a beach and then change to appalled as stories arise of rapes and sexual harassment not just in Cologne but Helsinki and other parts of Europe,

Vigilante groups have sprung up in Germany and Finland, the latter associated with neo-Nazi groups. There is a quite clear problem. One of gender imbalance. Valerie Hudson writes:

According to official counts, a disproportionate number of these migrants are young, unmarried, unaccompanied males. In fact, the sex ratios among migrants are so one-sided — we’re talking worse than those in China, in some cases — that they could radically change the gender balance in European countries in certain age cohorts.

Hudson also highlights a particular problem associated with the background of the vast bulk of these men:

......societies with extremely skewed sex ratios are more unstable even without jihadi ideologues in their midst. Numerous empirical studies have shown that sex ratios correlate significantly with violence and property crime—the higher the sex ratio, the worse the crime rate. Our research also found a link between sex ratios and the emergence of both violent criminal gangs and anti-government movements. It makes sense: When young adult males fail to make the transition to starting a household—particularly those young males who are already at risk for sociopathic behavior due to marginalization, a common concern among immigrants—their grievances are aggravated.

At the same time care needs to be taken in dealing with this very real problem. Maajid Nawaz makes the relevant call:

Yes, it is racist to suspect that all brown men who look like me are rapists. It is bigoted to presume that all Muslim men who share my faith advocate religiously justified rape. It is xenophobic to assume that all male refugees are sexual predators awaiting their chance to rape. But let me be absolutely clear: What will feed this racism, bigotry, and xenophobia even more is deliberately failing to report the facts as they stand. Doing so only encourages the populist right’s rallying cry against “the establishment.

If liberals do not address such issues swiftly, with complete candor and courage, the far-right and anti-Muslim populist groups will get there first. They have been doing so for a while now.

But it is not just the far-right that we need to be careful with over these issues. The far-left can also be more than a problem with their skewered thinking and opportunist thinking. Any attempt to deal with migrants and sexual crimes will be met with the usual accusations of "Islamophobia" and racism. Women's rights and those of indigenous populations who have been for the most part welcoming so far will be set aside.

The evidence of this is seen on a daily basis as the left try to censor even rational debate in our universities. Marynam Namazie wrote in the Daily Mail

Within our society, there should of course be safe spaces – such as women’s refuges – for victims of violence, discrimination and abuse. But it is wrong to hijack this concept as a means of stifling open debate within the higher education system.

By their very nature, universities should be ‘unsafe spaces’ where orthodoxies are challenged and opinions questioned. Why go to university at all if you feel you have to be ‘protected’ from views you dislike? That is a recipe for intellectual paralysis. Indeed, most human progress stems from a willingness to embrace ‘unsafe’ or ‘offensive’ ideas.

Moreover, what is considered ‘offensive’ or ‘hate speech’ is highly subjective. All too often the limits of speech are set by those with the loudest voices or the most political influence, like religious bodies or student unions or the state authorities. Once the limits are set, it’s a slippery slope. Limiting free speech silences and censors dissenting voices which most need to be heard.

There needs to be an open and rational debate addressing the very real problems of the current wave of (male dominated) immigration that refuses to be sidelined by false accusations of racism from those who would seek to limit debate for their own political ends.

At the same time the real crimes committed by those who have abused the hospitality of their host country must be addressed with full force of the law to protect the innocent victims of their acts. Justice must be seen to be done.

The "Human Rights Act" must not be seen to favour the criminal and allow criminality to hide behind false claims that their rights are under threat when they have abused those of others. Failure to do this will feed the far-right which is a real threat in many countries across Europe.

How we tackle this issue and the general influx of unrestrained immigration may make or break the current democratic balance across Europe.

Only the extremists of left, right & Islamist will again from from our failure.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Satire can be cruel but is no excuse for murder: A reply to Nigel Biggar in The Times

Articles on the murder of the journalists and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdoe continue to appear across the media as the anniversary of the atrocity continues to be marked. The Times has published an article by Nigel Biggar  a Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology in Oxford which caught my attention and irked my secularist and humorous sensibilities.

Biggar tells us on the one hand:

..freedom of speech is precious. It allows us to testify to the public the truth as we see it. It lets us criticise what's customary and conventional and established, be they beliefs or practices or institutions. It makes possible the seeds of revision, reform and progress. It enables individuals and societies to learn and perhaps change for the better.

So far so good.

However Biggar then goes on to lecture about "morals":

There remains the the moral task of exercising that freedom well or badly... by it's nature satire is unfair and uncharitable.

First of all define "morals" and tell us whose morality we are supposed to follow? I have "morals", as do others but they will differ since we are all human with different outlooks on life.

I am an atheist who believes in freedom of speech and expression. I reject the false "gods" of every religion. I reject the false prophets of communism and the demagogues of fascism, What all these ideologies and theologies have in common is the desire to remake us all in their image and suppress our basic individuality on pain of incarceration or death.

If my serious political criticisms of them and their dangerous and frankly wacky ideas offend them I do not care a jot. There is no god and I refuse to bow to their so-called sensibilities. Religion is not above criticism or satire. Did we have this debate over Father Ted, Dave Allen or All Gas and Gaiters?

Taking the mickey out of religion, it's institutions and clerics is a vital part of a our healthy culture. Humour and satire, cruel or not is at the heart of freedom of expression. Besides there is no moral duty to exclude any religion as Biggar seems to suggest.

He tells us that Charlie Hebdoe:

...held up to ridicule what every Muslim holds sacred.

So? That is the general idea. 

Why is Islam exempt from being satirised? What set of moral standards allows Father Ted to satirise Catholicism but not Islamic Clerics and their tendency to self parody.

Sheer hypocrisy that I have come to expect from the far left whose political alliances with Islam are (if haven't already) destroying progressive/left wing ideas now emanates from this Professor of "Morals". I am unimpressed, but then our seats of learning have been corrupted by the "safe spacers", the concepts of ideas being "offensive" if they challenge the preconceived notions of the activists in student unions.

Except Hate Preachers seem to speak with impunity in universities even when they preach homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism. 

When we criticise them we are "Islamophobic".  Frankly that's bollocks.

Islam is a religion that discriminates. Against women, gays in every country in which it is in ascendancy. If you dare criticise the religion of peace or even leave and convert to another religion or worse become an atheist you will face the death penalty for apostasy.

Frankly satire is the least of our worries.

There is a violent tendency within Islam that in the modern age still dominates and must be opposed. After all the majority of people who are oppressed by this false medieval theology are Muslims.

Only the Islamic establishment has an interest in maintaining the old order. Religion gives them their "moral" authority to oppress and murder.

So Professor Biggar I am unimpressed with your lecture on morality.

My morals tell me all men and women should be free to speak, learn and rebel against false authority wherever it is or whatever form it takes.

If some old crusty men with their religious books stuck up their rears take offence I care not.

It is only their power to rule over others hearts and minds that is threatened. The sooner that is recognised by those they oppress the better.

Free speech is not negotiable. Defend it.

And here is a little satire by SyeTenAtheist which is bound to offend the easily offended.

Friday, 8 January 2016

BBC remove post about Stephen Doughty's planned resignation

The Labour Party has lodged a complaint about the live resignation of Stephen Doughty on air.  Labour List  reports:-

In a statement, a Corbyn spokesperson said:
“By the BBC’s own account, BBC journalists and presenters proposed and secured the resignation of a shadow minister on air in the immediate run-up to Prime Minister’s Questions, apparently to ensure maximum news and political impact. That was evidently done before any notice of resignation was sent to the Labour leader. 
“Such orchestration of political controversy is an unacceptable breach of the BBC’s role and statutory obligations. 
“Trust in the impartiality and independence of the BBC is essential. The BBC’s role is to report the news impartially, rather than seek to influence events or promote a particular political narrative.”
The complaint is clearly supported by senior Shadow Cabinet ministers such as key Corbyn ally Jon Trickett, who tweeted earlier today that the situation was “a disgrace”.

The Tories complain the BBC is too left wing, Labour complains the opposite. Personally I think they tend to get the balance right. 

Anyway nothing wrong with a scoop, after all the fella was going to do it anyway they didn't make him!

However the BBC has removed a post by Andrew Alexander, the editor of the Daily Politics show which is reproduced below for information.

Wednesday is always an important day for the Daily Politics because we carry Prime Minister's Questions live, which brings with it our biggest audience of the week and, we hope, a decent story.

As I arrived at Millbank at 7am it was clear that Jeremy Corbyn's cabinet reshuffle, which had ended before 1am, was going to dominate at Westminster.

When the programme editor phoned in we agreed that in addition to covering other major stories, including the junior doctors' strike, fallout from the reshuffle was likely to continue throughout the morning and this was a story where we could make an impact.

When the producers arrived at 8am they began putting out texts and calls to Labour MPs we thought were likely to react strongly to the sacking of several shadow ministers for "disloyalty".

Just before 9am we learned from Laura Kuenssberg, who comes on the programme every Wednesday ahead of PMQs, that she was speaking to one junior shadow minister who was considering resigning. I wonder, mused our presenter Andrew Neil, if they would consider doing it live on the show?

The question was put to Laura, who thought it was a great idea. Considering it a long shot we carried on the usual work of building the show, and continued speaking to Labour MPs who were confirming reports of a string of shadow ministers considering their positions.

Within the hour we heard that Laura had sealed the deal: the shadow foreign minister Stephen Doughty would resign live in the studio.

Although he himself would probably acknowledge he isn't a household name, we knew his resignation just before PMQs would be a dramatic moment with big political impact. We took the presenters aside to brief them on the interview while our colleagues on the news desk arranged for a camera crew to film him and Laura arriving in the studio for the TV news packages.

There's always a bit of nervous energy in the studio and the gallery just before we go on air at 11.30am, but I'd say it was a notch higher than usual this week. By this point we weren’t worried about someone else getting the story as we had Stephen Doughty safely in our green room. Our only fear was that he might pull his punches when the moment came.

When it did, with about five minutes to go before PMQs, he was precise, measured and quietly devastating – telling Andrew that “I’ve just written to Jeremy Corbyn to resign from the front bench” and accusing Mr Corbyn’s team of “unpleasant operations” and telling “lies”.

As Andrew Neil handed from the studio to the Commons chamber we took a moment to watch the story ripple out across news outlets and social media. Within minutes we heard David Cameron refer to the resignation during his exchanges with Jeremy Corbyn.

During our regular debrief after coming off air at 1pm we agreed our job is always most enjoyable when a big story is breaking - but even more so when it’s breaking on the programme.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Charlie Hebdoe: Drawing a line in the sand


Désolé, la page demandée n’est pas accessible.

Today we commemorate the first anniversary of the murder of the Charlie Hebdoe satirists and journalists by crazed Islamists and shocked the civilised world with their violent barbarity. 

Even as I returned home and turned on the news these fascists were at it again. The BBC reported:

French police have shot dead a man who was apparently trying to attack a police station on the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The suspect was carrying a meat cleaver and wearing a dummy suicide vest.

Officials have named him as a convicted thief, Sallah Ali, who was born in Morocco.

Minutes before he was shot, President Francois Hollande had praised police in a speech on last year's killings.

Gunmen murdered 17 people in attacks, including at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket.

An attack on civilisation itself.

And yet the reaction of large sections of the so-called "left" was shocking.

The accusations that Charlie Hebdoe was "Islamophobic" and "racist" emerged from groups like the Socialist Workers Party and the Stop the War Coalition. Politicians" like Corbyn and others think the "West is to blame for terrorism". And then there was "red" Ken.

Robbie Travers reminded us tonight on Facebook:

"Ken Livingston said that the majority of those killed in the Charlie Hebdo Paris attack were "innocent victims." Who wasn't innocent Ken? Was it the satirists for using free speech or the Jews for being Jewish."


For those of us who believe in free speech and democracy there is a line to be drawn in the sand.

Those that try to deflect blame or shout "Islamophobic" or racist are on the wrong side of the divide and cannot be considered to be progressive in any shape or form.

Problem is there are too many of these types ferreted away in our society. A very personal effect on me was the banning of my post on the PCS Unions Facebook page condemning the atrocity. In the ensuing discussion one of the easily offended brigade protested she was offended by me just writing there is no god".  An unelected self appointed censor from HQ removed not only the post and ensuing discussion but even my protest to her banning any further discussion when I replied that did she not think free speech was a trade union issue.

That was the catalyst for me leaving. (A move I have never regretted).

In the scheme of things this is small beer, however it is an indication that something has become very rotten in the core of what used to be the left". The turn to Islam undertaken by the majority of the left in the name of so-called "anti-imperialism" and the refusal to criticise reactionary religiosity is a threat to reason.

Islamism has replaced communism as the bogeyman but the alliance between the currents hinders dealing with the problems of growing fundamentalism.

The right of free speech is the foundation of all human rights.

And Human Rights ALWAYS come before religious rights and sensibilities.

Fight for the right to criticise, satirise and express opinions free from the threat of violence.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Musical Interlude - Fun Boy Three

Only have time to post a quick "musical interlude" this evening so here's a little number that sums up what's going on the Labour Party....

The Fun Boy Three with The Lunatics Have taken Over The Asylum which reached number 20 in 1982.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Victory for free speech and a blow to indoctrination

Two news stories on related subjects came to attention today. The first was reported by the BBC:

Evangelical Christian preacher Pastor James McConnell has been found not guilty of making "grossly offensive" remarks about Islam.

The 78-year-old, from Shore Road in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, denied two charges relating to a sermon he gave in a Belfast church in 2014.

A judge said while he considered the remarks offensive, he did not consider them "grossly" offensive under the law.

Supporters of the pastor applauded when the verdict was given.

A good result for free speech as the National Secular Society outlined:

... Stephen Evans described the ruling as a "welcome reassertion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression."

He added, "While we and many others disagree strongly with the tone and content of the Pastor's remarks, a heartening and broad coalition of groups have stood up for his right to express his views.

"At a time when freedom of speech is being curtailed and put at risk in any number of ways, this is a much needed statement from the judge that free speech will be defended and that Islam is not off-limits.

"While we welcome the ruling, serious questions remain about the PPS' decision to pursue this case, particularly given that it was brought about after a complaint from a man who had to retract his praise for the Islamic State's rule."

Dr Raied Al-Wazzan, who said Mosul "has become the most peaceful city in the world" under IS, was described as the "chief witness" for the prosecution.

The NSS had written to the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service in an attempt to have the prosecution called off and criticising their "chilling" decision to go ahead with the case. The PPS said their decision was "in the public interest" without explaining why.

Mr Evans added: "Now that McConnell has rightly been found not guilty, the PPS needs to be held to account for its reckless pursuit of this prosecution. The terrible effect on the exercise of free speech if McConnell had been found guilty are obvious.

"The right verdict has now been reached, but this case should never have been pursued."

Meanwhile The Times (no link£) reports a follow up to the "Trojan Horse" story about "Islamist takeovers" of schools in Birmingham:

A head teacher who was accused of misconduct in the Trojan horse scandal as he forbade Christmas celebrations at a school has been banned from the profession.

Jahangir Akbar who was acting headmaster of Oldknow Academy primary school school in Birmingham will have to wait for five years before he can teach again. A disciplinary panel upheld a charge against him last month he agreed with others at the school to an undue amount of religious influence.

Frankly he he should have been barred for life (along with the "others") as they should not be allowed near schools ever again.

Not only did he ban Christmas but also Diwali and introduced a two day festival for Eid. This is unacceptable and the product of an intolerant mindset that would corrupt the minds of young children.

Finally as a sort of footnote, if any members of the Goldsmiths LGBT Society are reading this blog perhaps they would be interested in this quote from the Muslim Prime Minister of Malaysia who says:

Najib Razak spoke at an international Islamic moderation seminar in Bangi Selangor, to say that his administration will adopt some human rights protections but not those which conflict with Islam.

Noting LGBT rights, he said that some of the “more extreme aspects of human rights”, would not be defended by Malaysia.

He said this was in line with the Islamic teaching of balance and moderation.

“Although universal human rights have been defined, we still define human rights in the country in the context of Islam and the Shariah,” he said, reports the Malay Mail.

“Even though it is difficult to defend internationally, we must defend our definition of human rights.”

Please remember that the next time you support Islamic thugs trying to stop Marynam Namzie speaking.

You'll be next.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Murderous theocracy condemns murderous theocracy shock

File:Flag of Iran.svg  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg

The sectarian conflict in the Middle east took a new and violent twist as an orchestrated crowd ransacked the Saudi Barbarian Embassy in Tehran yesterday. Orchestrated because nothing, absolutely nothing of that nature takes place in Iran without prior approval of the Mullahs holed up in their blinkered cloisters.

The war between the two main factions of Islam (Sunni and Shia) has been a constant since the original schism after the death of their so-called "prophet" back in the Middle Ages. Despite having almost similar practises the differences are enough to  push the competing acolytes to violence.

Religion of "peace" indeed. Not

The current wave of violence is a result of the Saudi regimes decision to execute a leading Shia cleric as a "terrorist". One of 147 to be executed for various breaches of the Wahhabian laws imposed on the Saudi people. It's difficult to take this charge of "terrorism seriously since their definition is to say the least expansive and irrational to the extreme.

Under new Saudi laws even holding views critical of the state's version of Islam and shock horror not believing in "god" at all makes you a terrorist.

The Saudi Regime punishes thoughts of dissension by death.

This is a regime who have threatened to sue anyone on Twitter who likens them to ISIS. who erm..carry out be headings and executions for, wait for it the same offences considered terrorism by the Wahhabi sponsored Saudi regime.

Iran of course is also well known for it's own brutality and politically motivated executions. Just ask the Kurds, Bahai's  and all other opponents of their own version of the religion of peace.

Iran actually executes more prisoners than Saudi Arabia.

Both countries suppress opposition mistreat their minorities, religious or otherwise.

Women's rights are non-existent and homosexuality is punishable by death.

In practice their is nothing to choose between either clerical dictatorship. Nasty regimes based on mediaeval religious practices and beliefs that should have been abandoned years ago.

And yet one of these countries (Saudi Arabia) sits on the United Nations so-called Human Rights Council.

It's one of the things that makes the UN such a joke of a body.

Both countries seek to impose a world ban on "blasphemy" by which they actually mean criticism of their religion as neither has ever shown any concern what so ever for anybody else's.

Even conversion to another religion is met with the death penalty under these barbaric regimes.

Of course politics plays a part in the growing conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia as both seek greater influence across the Islamic world. But both countries are guilty of exporting religious intolerance and terrorism across the world.

The real victims of these barbaric regimes are the people of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

My message to them?

Throw away your false god and their clerics, you only have your chains to lose.

"God" does not exist.

They made him up to control your lives. Full stop. 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Some positive developments on the left

With the civil war in the Labour Party preparing to take a new turn after Corbyn completes his purge reshuffle of the shadow cabinet there have been some moves to try and rebuild what the far left call the "decent" left.

First is the announcement of Luke Akehurst (of Labour First) to stand for the Labour NEC gives a rallying call to those remaining "decents" in the party that there is hope in the struggle against the totalitarian left emerging around Corbyn.

Luke has published a Manifesto that begins:
  • Resisting the “lurch to the left”. I’m proud of what Labour achieved in Government and want to build on it, particularly in the area of tackling poverty and inequality, but to listen to why voters abandoned us and rebuild our economic credibility. In the aftermath of the General Election the party chose to veer sharply to the left, as we did after 1979. I think this was a disastrous strategic mistake. I want us to align our politics and policies with where ordinary voters are, not wander off into the electoral wilderness. This doesn’t mean not being bold – hence the list of radical policies below.
  • A bold approach to winning the 2020 General Election. I want a bold strategy where we aim to build a broad coalition and win 40% of the vote. To do that we will need radical but realistic policies. We will have to develop ideas that appeal to people who voted Labour in the past but have recently backed UKIP and the Tories, particularly older and more prosperous voters. I support: rail renationalisation, a big house building programme, a national Living Wage, banning zero hours contracts, more free childcare. I am passionate about tackling poverty and inequality. As a parent and cancer survivor I will fight to defend our NHS and schools from Tory cuts. Any credible party of government needs to be trusted with national defence and I am a strong supporter of renewing the Trident strategic nuclear deterrent and properly funding our armed forces.
  • Opposing Hard Left factionalism. Party unity and Labour’s electability need to come first. I will oppose moves by the Hard Left to change the party rulebook to their partisan advantage. I will defend hard-working incumbent MPs and councillors from sectarian deselection bids. I will fight to stop the new Momentum organisation from acting as a bridgehead into Labour for entryists from rival far left parties.
The rest can be found at

In a second and much more challenging move James Bloodworth, Martyn Hudson and Professor Alan Johnson have published the following statement to which is worth signing up for if the old fashioned Islamo-fascist anti-Semitic left is to be pushed back to the dustbin of history where it belongs. Like all projects this requires some compromise, but if there is a chance of changing the left for the better and building a new movement then so be it.

Towards a Realignment of the Left

Some of us think a ‘Stop the War’ shaped, anti-western foreign policy is at best a useless pose and at worst a sell out of our natural allies around the world (democrats, liberals, feminists, free trade unionists, two-staters), and a betrayal of our deepest values (democracy, anti-totalitarianism, gender, sexual and racial equality, liberty, national self-determination, internationalism and human flourishing). This left looks to 'proxy' forces, like its Islamist and Stalinist friends, to win its battles for it, without understanding that these forces are the enemies of internationalism. We do not just 'disagree' with the Corbyn-Milne-Stop the War-Livingstone tendency. We think of these people as our 'enemies' in the same sense that union-busting and environment-despoiling bosses are. While we think 'don't do stupid stuff' is not such a bad maxim, and we reject ill-conceived neoconservative interventionism of the Iraq kind, we are internationalists and we do not walk by on the other side. We stand with the democrats fighting the Islamists and with the human rights campaigners fighting the authoritarians. We accept the responsibility to protect. We revere the French anti-Nazi and pro-European socialist Leon Blum, we cheered on Hilary Benn's anti-fascist speech, and we read essays such as Nick Cohen's What's Left?, Paul Berman's Power and the Idealists, and Michael Walzer's ‘What is Left Internationalism?’


Some of us *also* think that a 'social neoliberal' or third way economic and social policy has failed to offer a genuinely progressive response to the ills of neoliberal global capitalism: deregulation and the unshackling of antisocial corporate power and spread of environmental degradation; financialisation, the age of greed, the banking crisis and 'austerity'; privatisation, the decay of the public realm, the collapse of social housing, the spread of social cruelty, the spectacular rise in inequality and the fraying of the commons; the assault on trade union and workplace rights; and the rise and rise of a crass bottom-lineism, a possessive individualism that is slowly coarsening the culture, creating a one-dimensional world in which rich individuality is strangled. We believe we are our brothers' and sisters' keeper. We want a great fight for a radical rebalancing of power and resource in the world: global social democracy. We read essays such as Sheri Berman's The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's 20th Century, Thomas Piketty's The Economics of Inequality, and we support websites like LabourStart.


Some of us in the UK think both of these things at once. We say, 'Neither Blair nor Corbyn, but global social democracy and left internationalism', so to speak. Inspired by democratic socialist thinkers such as Norman Geras, Irving Howe, Hal Draper and, more remotely, Theodor Adorno, Victor Serge and Albert Camus, we are committed to new ways of thinking about critical theory and solidarity.

Some of us who think like this believe it is now time to create a 'little magazine' - an open online journal of ideas in which to think and to discuss and, in time - who knows - to contribute something of real value to the realignment of the Left.

We have two modest hopes.

First, that we can help develop a critique of the two ways in which the left has lost its way. We mean a genuine critique, in the sense of a genuine overcoming, by a hard-won critical understanding of the actual conditions of emergence - preeminently, defeat; but also some fatal theoretical weaknesses - and an appreciation of the partial truths (for they exist too), of the anti-western and social-neoliberal Lefts.

Second, to contribute with others to the conversation about the renewal of a rational democratic Left. We believe that left internationalism and global social democracy form a political horizon; no more, but no less. We have an intuition that by trying to move towards that horizon, in theory and practice, the Left might do some good. We believe the Left should be the inheritor of the radical enlightenment and the promise of the democratic revolutions. We are universalists and the name of our desire is the 'planetary humanism' of Primo Levi and Paul Gilroy. We believe with the late Norman Geras that utopianism remains a valuable mode of thinking for the Left. But we also believe in winning elections.

We are fully aware that we stand in the rubble of the historic projects of the Left. We know everything is to be reasoned through, not least the precise meaning of, and the nature of the relationship between, 'global social democracy' and 'Left internationalism'. Much of our tradition – which we see as stretching back to the Putney Debates of the English Civil War, when radicals began the hard work of thinking freedom in its relation to the social question - has to be rescued-through-renewal (trade unionism, for one thing; the welfare state, for another) while much else has to be imagined for the first time, in the utterly new conditions of these new times.

If you agree with the broad sweep of this statement you can sign up:

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Erdogan praises Hitlers style of Government

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Senate of Poland 01 (cropped).JPG Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H1216-0500-002, Adolf Hitler.jpg
photo: Michał Józefaciuk Licensed under CC                             photo:Bundesarchiv, Bild Licensed under CC

The Islamist President of Turkey has been heading towards a more authoritarian regime for several years now. His regime has been accused of everything from political and financial corruption to surreptitiously helping the so-called Islamic State.

Repression of the Kurds and his support for the terrorist Hamas organisation has gone hand in hand with suppression of political opponents. His demagogic style of government has included the construction of a huge presidential palace and the planning of a second folly that indicates the outlook of a megalomaniac.

Turkey is a country with a "hidden" history, one of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The Armenian Holocaust cost the lives of around one and a half million people. To this day Turkey has denied this event ever took place. It is illegal to even discuss the issue in Turkey.

With this background in mind you'd think that Erdogan would be careful with his pronouncements which have been getting stranger all the time, but his latest verbal atrocity is frankly beyond belief. The  reports:

Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has defended his push for a presidential system of government by citing "Hitler's Germany" as an historic example.

"There are already some examples in the world today, and also some from the past. You see it when you look at Hitler's Germany. Later you see the example again in various other counties."

Quite clear. Quite dangerous.

Presidential aides have tried to play down these comments ( made in that haven of reason Saudi Arabia) by trying to claim they have been distorted.

Clearly they have not and Erdogan stands exposed to the world in his true light.

The link between Islamism and fascism has never been more obvious. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Moderates

As the new year begins two news stories attracted my attention. The first was on-line and involved the resignation of yet another "decent from the Labour Party.

Kate Godfrey wrote on her blog:

I do not want to see Jerusalem builded here, in the shape of Mao’s red book. The grey chill of Corbynism frightens and disturbs me. I have seen Libya and lived in the German East, and I am frightened by the visions held before us. I am frightened by the blindness of those who take the socialism of the 1980’s for their model.

I am frightened by the license offered to the Conservatives so that Labour will fail.

Meanwhile the Independent reports:

Lord Mandelson said the Labour leader was an "intentionally divisive figure" and was "intent on splitting the party between the hard left and its centre ground."

Pursuing his radical agenda and exerting the hard-left's"suffocating grip on our party" was more important to him and his allies than taking on the Tories and seeking power, the Labour grandee claimed.

The battle for the heart and soul of the Labour Party will continue unabated for the next few months.

However all is not well within the Corbynista camp. Those working in Corbyn's "inner circle" are divided into two factions. The first closest to Corbyn himself are people like John Lansman of the long standing Labour Representation Committee. The second is the more "secretive" Socialist Action group, a remnant of the old International Marxist Group who acted as lieutenants for Ken Livingstone during his reign as London Mayor. They have different approaches as Labour Uncut outlines:

Over the years, LRC activists have been disparaging about the Socialist Action coterie around Ken Livingstone. “Plastic socialists” is one insult I’ve heard repeatedly.

For the LRC, the Kennites are too easily seduced by power and preserving their own position....

It’s a divide that has always plagued the hard left.

In 1903, the Russian communists split along similar lines. The Mensheviks sought compromise with the moderate left parties as a route to revolution while the Bolsheviks viewed confrontation and control of these groups as the only route to success.

Ultimately, for many Mensheviks, the outcome of this split was a Bolshevik bullet in the 1920s.

Now, the ghosts of leftist splits past are haunting the Labour leader’s office over the reshuffle.

The Kennite Mensheviks do not want to rock the boat by sacking Hilary Benn, Maria Eagle and clearing out the whips office.

Factionalism is at the heart of the left and is one of the reasons that what these people define as "socialism" has always failed as a movement. The comrades are incapable of utilising the  basic tenet of their faith, that of co-operation.

The two camps are indeed reminiscent of the beginnings of the failure of the Russian experiment. The intolerance that began after Lenin seized power. First the external opposition was extinguished as early as Kropotkin's funeral in 1919 and then under the stewardship of Leon Trotsky all internal opposition was suppressed in including the Workers Opposition (Len McCluskey please note) the Trade Union Opposition as these factions defined themselves. Methods even more brutally refined by Stalin.

And Trotsky himself ended up purged along with his "Left Opposition".

The left have never learnt from history. Neither have the "moderates".

The Labour Party is currently the only vehicle of opposition to the very real attacks of the Tory Government. The Corbynite left are making Labour unelectable and will allow Cameron and his allies to pursue not an "ant-austerity" agenda but one that is ideologically driven agenda that threatens the basic rights of ordinary people. Trade Unions will lose their ability to stand up for their members, tenants  will lose their rights to a secure home, even in council (or social) housing.

And that's just the thin end of the wedge.

Whilst the comrades continue their plans to purge and take over, the necessary broad coalition of the Labour Party that actually wins elections will be dismantle and destroyed. The activists seem hell bent on creating a far-left hegemony regardless of the consequences.

Corbyn will create a new shadow cabinet based on his image, based on the advice of the blinkered ideologues he surrounds himself with. The broad coalition will falter, it will fall, unless the moderates take the plunge and rebuild the much needed connections with the unions who  should be more pragmatic than the so-called activists because their members will demand actual gains rather than bland ideological proclamations.

This can and should take place sooner rather than later.

The survival of social democracy depends on Labour remaining a practical party that seeks to protect the disadvantaged. Society is no longer the world that Marxists pre-occupy themselves with. The "working class" still exists but not only does not constitute a majority in itself but retains a rather large element that will not vote for the kind of banal almost soviet era politics promoted by the left.

Labour needs to appeal beyond it's core base.

Corbyn and his commissars are not up to this task.

The moderates must reclaim Labour and ally themselves with those on the left who actually want to achieve social justice but understand that overthrowing capitalism is not and has never been on the horizon.