Sunday, 20 August 2017

Jerry Lewis Remembered

Jerry Lewis - 1960s.jpg

One of the most loved American comedians from the sixties and star of many a film has passed away aged 91. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1926, Jerry Lewis went on to be a star on both television and in film.

Amongst his best films were Visit to a Small Planet and The Nutty Professor. His collaboration with Dean Martin was legendary and he even got a DC comic book series!



Jerry Lewis may be gone but his comedy will live forever.

Monday, 14 August 2017

A Load Of Old Fanny

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure Fanny Hill 1749 edition title page.jpg

Published in 1748 and renowned at the time for outraging vicars and bishops across the land most people would consider Fanny Hill a rather tame tome by modern standards. It's not so long ago that Lady Chatterley's Lover and the publication Oz caused scandal in the green fields of old England. Mrs Whitehouse campaigned to the last to defend our living rooms from such smut lest we degenerate into sex-crazed godless minions of Satan.

Yet today hundreds of thousands of thousands of people have picked up copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and it's sequels without batting an eyelid. Sex on TV whilst always after the watershed is wee bit more explicit than even Mary Whitehouse imagined. For better or worse we the people of England have seemingly lost our stiff upper lip so to speak.

Not so in universities it seems  as the Royal Holloway (part of the University of London) has dropped old Fanny from it's curriculum lest it offend some students. Yes I kid you not. Just the latest in a long line of atrocities being carried out in our centres of learning as the politically correct- intersectionalist-easily offended-snowflake brigade undermine education.

Apparently theology classes about Jesus at Glasgow University come with trigger warnings about (wait for it) "graphic scenes of crucifixion". Really? Didn't they teach that in Sunday School. Nailed to a tree the fella was and then apparently rose from the dead. Very central to the Christian belief system I understand. Don't think any studies of their theology could avoid this subject.

Better not let these vulnerable students anywhere near the old testament which is full of begetting and smiting plus genocide. Heaven forbid they dare read the Koran. Might make the poor soul Islamophobic. Better give it a free pass. Not open for criticism. Saves any PC problems later. Only white religions can be criticised according to the new breed of Social Justice Warriors.

If you think thats bad imagine law students being excused lectures on rape or future forensic scientists being given warnings about lectures involving the subject of blood patterns and crime scenes. Could be dead bodies. Awful. Perhaps puppy farming might be for anyone feeling queasy at this point. They certainly aren't going to be able to help rape victims or find the murderers before someone else is killed.

In fact don't go to university at all. Nobody learns anything there anymore. It's just for spoiled self indulgent brats to act like the bullies they are.

If you ask me their parents should have just given them a clip round the ear and told their little poppets to get a life.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Tell leading retailers: Justice now for Cambodian garment workers

Labourstart Campaign



The sudden closure of a garment factory has left 208 workers in Cambodia without jobs, salaries, or their legally owed compensation.

One year later these workers, mainly women, are still fighting for justice.

The factory – Chung Fai Knitwear – was making clothing for Marks & Spencer (UK), Nygård (Canada) and Bonmarché (UK).

The workers have been facing a long struggle.

They stood up for their rights by preventing the owners from selling the remaining assets from the factory, through physical occupation of the factory as well as legal measures

They have protested outside the Mark & Spencer office in Phnom Penh, outside the Ministry of Labour, and the court.

They wrote letters to the brands pleading for help and asked for meetings.

None of this helped.

Now the workers, supported by trade unions and labour rights' organisations, demand that the brands take responsibility and ensure that they get their legally due payment.

Please take a moment to support their struggle:


Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Far-Left and Venezuela



Venezuela was a country lauded by the far-left and anti-imperialists of how socialism could work. A "Bolivarian" revolution led by Hugo Chavez was feted by such as Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone, the Communist Party, the SWP and others who all came together to form the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign which tried to persuade us that this was a way forward to a better society.

Today with Chavez dead and his successor once claiming he talked to his mentors ghost the country is falling apart.  Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and should in theory be able to provide for it's peoples basic needs. Yet the selves are empty. Staple items from bread to toilet paper unobtainable even if the average citizen had the money (which they don't) to obtain their basic needs.

Violence is ascendant. So afraid is Maduro of losing power he has seen the appointment of over 2,000 "Generals" in his army. That's more than NATO has.

Many people have been calling on Jeremy Corbyn to condemn what's going on. He won't and besides is currently somewhere in Croatia on a cycling holiday. More likely he'll listen to his friends from Sinn Fein whose representative in Caracas has declared that the poll, boycotted by the majority has been "fair & equitable".



Venezuela does not allow any independent observers monitor its voting. Maduro just ships in his mates. Sinn Fein is so trustworthy..not.

Meanwhile the Communist Party via the Morning Star rages:

Communist Party general secretary Rob Griffiths condemned US President Trump’s refusal to recognise the result of the Venezuelan election.

He said it is “our duty” to defend Mr Maduro’s elected government which has made “great strides” in redistributing wealth and given a voice to the excluded and underrepresented.

The old Militant Tendency now the Socialist Party prefers to remain silent and has a feature on how art helped inspire the Bolshevik coup d'etat in 1917 in the latest issue of their boring rag The Socialist. Even their "International" website hasn't had a piece on Venezuela since June and that just called for more "socialist policies" whatever that's supposed to mean.

Socialist Worker who are busy stirring up trouble in Hackney behind their front organisation Stand up to Racism did manage a few mealy mouthed comments in their latest paper:

The boycott and its limited success show the right’s continuing unpopularity. Its leaders couldn’t risk standing and couldn’t dissuade millions from voting for Maduro’s candidates.

Venezuela is now seeing economic and social devastation. But this hasn’t overcome the legacy of resentment at the right wing elite that once ruled the country......


The right poses a real threat to ordinary people in Venezuela.

But workers and the poor acting for themselves can create a movement that could pose a real alternative.


As usual like Militant the real way forward is to join the (their) party and build "socialism.

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

Finally what of the laughably named Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign?

“On Sunday over 8 million Venezuelans, representing a turnout of 41.5%, participated in elections for a Constituent Assembly to revise the constitution, and provide an elected mechanism to help resolve the country’s current difficulties.

This impressive turnout was despite many sections of the country’s right-wing opposition deciding to boycott the vote, and some even calling violent protests on the day with the explicit aim of derailing the elections. Venezuela’s Public Ministry has announced that it will open a probe into the deaths reported as a result of these violent protests.

However The Times reports (no link£):

President Maduro has been accused of organising election fraud on a massive scale after it was revealed that officials invented one million votes in Sundays constituent assembly election.

The allegation was made by Antonio Mugica, chief executive of the  that provides the machines.... he said "we estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced is at least one million votes.

The far-left do not believe in democracy. Only control.

As we head to the anniversary of the so-called Russian Revolution it needs to be remembered what the Communists overthrew was not the Tsar but the elected government of Russia. 

Socialist democracy is a lie. From Cuba to North Korea it has led to dictatorship and worse. Venezuela will be no different if the comrades get their way.

Peter Tatchell writes Open Letter to Defend Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain

File:Peter Tatchell - Red Wall - 8by10 - 2016-10-15.jpg
Photo: Colin CC Wiki

"Open Letter to Pride: Defend the Council of Ex-Muslims

East London mosque has history of hosting homophobic hate preachers


London, UK – 3 August 2017

Dear Pride in London and Community Advisory Board,

I write as one of the co-organisers of the UK’s first LGBT Pride in 1972, as a Patron of Pride in London and as a human rights campaigner for the last 50 years:

I understand that complaints have been made against the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) by the East London mosque and others. The claim is that the CEMB's placards at this year’s Pride parade on 8 July were "Islamophobic".

They were certainly very critical of Islamic homophobia, which is legitimate, justified and necessary in order to defend LGBT Muslims who have been victimised by followers of Islam in the UK and by Islamic governments worldwide.

The CEMB placards condemned “Homophobes, Islamists, racists.” They supported LGBT Muslims and LGBT people fleeing persecution by Islamic states. One said: “End Islamic hatred and violence to gays.” Others highlighted UK mosques, such as East London and Green Lanes, that have hosted hate preachers who have endorsed or justified the killing of LGBT people.

Some placards said “Allah is gay.” The factual basis of such a claim is questionable. However, since there is nothing wrong or shameful about being gay - and only gay sex acts (not gay people) are condemned in the Qur’an and Hadiths - there is nothing insulting about saying Allah, God, Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Shiva or any other religious figure is gay. A person would only say it was insulting if they were anti-LGBT.

The CEMB’s placards against Islamic homophobia were entirely justified and commendable. We have to oppose Islamic homophobia in the same way that LGBT groups have long opposed Christian and Judaist homophobia.

None of the CEMB placards were against Muslim people. They did not incite hate against Muslims. They criticised homophobic religious ideas.

People and ideas are two very different things.

In a free society, all ideas, including Islam and other faiths, should be open to scrutiny and criticism. That's what freedom of expression is all about.

Criticising ideas is fine. Stirring hate against people is not.

The CEMB did not, in my view, cross that red line. It did not say a word against Muslim people.

You have said that Pride participants have a right to protest but “this does not give people in our parade the freedom to ostracise, discriminate against or humiliate anyone else taking part.” I agree. But the CEMB did not do this. They did not target anyone in the parade. They targeted Islamists who want LGBT people dead!

You say that Pride participants should treat others with tolerance and courtesy. True. But not if they want to kill us and incite their followers to hate and despise LGBTs.

One of the complainants against the CEMB is, I am told, the East London mosque. This mosque for many years used to host Islamic extremist preachers who stirred hatred against LGBT people and, in some cases, justified the murder of LGBT people in accordance with Sharia law.

I am told that East London mosque and its allied London Muslim Centre (LMC) have hosted homophobic clerics who have endorsed the execution of LGBT people, including Ibrahim Hewitt, Haitham al-Haddad, Yasir Qadhi, Assim al-Hakeem, Muhammad Alshareef, Yusuf Chambers, Yusuf Estes, Abdur Raheem Green, Murtaza Khan, Bilal Philips, Abdullah Hakim Quick, Hamza Tzortzis, Yusuf Patel and Khalid Yasin.

Some years ago, OutRage! and I organised a campaign against the mosque's anti-LGBT preachers. The mosque authorities did nothing to stop them speaking there until adverse media publicity and the protests of liberal Muslims shamed them into promising to not host any more extremist homophobic clerics.

They eventually pledged they would not host them anymore. But as soon as the fuss died down I discovered that the East London mosque was again hosting viciously anti-LGBT preachers.

They had made untrue, misleading promises that they did not keep.

It is true that many, many years ago the London Muslim Centre (LMC), which is linked to the East London mosque, did agree to meet me to discuss LGBT concerns. But I felt it was just a PR exercise. They paid lip service to opposing homophobia; being unwilling to engage with or affirm LGBT Muslims and not doing anything serious to challenge homophobia within the Muslim community.

In the last two years, I and my colleagues at the Peter Tatchell Foundation have 11 times contacted the mosque and LMC, requesting them to have a dialogue with the LGBT community: to build bridges and solidarity between LGBTs and Muslims to combat the prejudice, discrimination and violence that both communities suffer. We specifically requested them to dialogue with and host LGBT Muslims. All our requests have been rebuffed. They have repeatedly ignored our 11 appeals since 2015.

Other mainstream Muslim organisations, such as the Muslim Council of Britain, likewise refuse to dialogue with the LGBT community, refuse to accept LGBT Muslims and actively oppose LGBT equality, including campaigning against same-sex civil marriage and other LGBT equality laws over the last two decades.

I urge you to reject the complaints against the CEMB by the East London mosque and others. Instead, I urge you to ask them to explain why they refuse to have a dialogue with the LGBT community, refuse to publicly challenge homophobia within the Muslim community and why they refuse to publicly acknowledge and support LGBT Muslims.

I also request you to confirm that the CEMB can participate in future Pride parades.

If you have any queries, please get in touch.

Keep up the great work that Pride in London and the Community Advisory Board does. My thanks to you and all the volunteers for making Pride possible.

Much appreciation and best wishes,

Peter Tatchell, 

Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation

Monday, 31 July 2017

I Don't Like Mondays

Getting up for work on a Monday morning is always a pain no matter how nice the weather but most of us just get on with it. After being shouted at by a drunk at just nine o'clock this morning I remembered this little ditty..... from 1979 would you believe?

Anyway it's an excuse for a musical interlude since I'll only be blogging intermittently during the summer holidays this year. Just need a break really. Probably as soon I write this I'll be motivated by some event or another.......watch this space!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Defend the British Council of Ex-Muslims against Islamic censorship

File:CEMB.png

The participation of the British Council of Ex-Muslims in the London Gay Pride march has seen attacks by the far left in the form of Counterfire and the Islamist extremists of the East London Mosque. 
The inability of so-called progressives to recognise the right to criticise Islam even by ex-Muslims is frankly disturbing. 
The latest correspondence between the CEMB and Pride is reproduced below:

28 July 2017

Dear Michael Salter-Church and Alison Camps, Co-Chairs - Pride in London

Thank you for your letter dated 21 July addressed to CEMB’s Pride Organiser, Daniel Fitzgerald (available below).

The crux of the issue, which you have failed to recognise, is this: Pride in London has taken complaints against the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) by the likes of the East London Mosque - a centre of homophobia - seriously because of a cultural relativism and tone policing that is only applicable to critics of Islam and never critics of Christianity.

Moreover, complaints have been given credence because of the erroneous conflation of criticism of religion and the religious-Right with bigotry against Muslims.

We remind Pride that "tolerance, acceptance and recognition" are for people (whether LGBT, Muslims or ex-Muslims), not beliefs or regressive political movements and States. Whilst we must hold all human beings - even those we disagree with - in high regard, this is not the same as accepting all beliefs without criticism. Clearly, Pride is able to make distinctions between criticism of beliefs and an attack on people when it comes to non-minority groups and religions other than Islam so it should not be too difficult for you to understand our position.

In your letter you say, protest "does not give people in our parade the freedom to ostracise, discriminate against or humiliate anyone else taking part." But the question that remains is how has our presence and placards criticising Islamic homophobia, the East London mosque, States that murder LGBT and apostates ostracising, humiliating or discriminating against anyone? Are placards critical of Christianity, the Church, Jesus, the Pope... "ostracising, humiliating and discriminating against" Christians? It seems Pride has bought into the Islamist narrative that betrays the persecuted and defends the persecutors. This is a politics that rewards bullies and blames victims.

You add: "...Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any individual making derogatory remarks about a person's sexuality, gender, gender identity, race, age, nationality, disability, appearance, religion or any other factor." Again, you confuse criticism of religion as being the same as attacking someone because they are Muslim or gay or a woman. You merely need to change any of our placards critical of Islam to ones critical of Christianity to see how absurd your position is.

You say: "there were some placards we feel may have the potential to breach our code of conduct. These placards may be seen to reject the existence of Islamophobia, to make defamatory statements about a specific group of people, and overall could have been seen to proactively question the ability to be LGBT+ and Muslim."

This is more disingenuous nonsense and merely an attempt to justify your unjustifiable position. Islamophobia is a misnomer that conflates criticism of religion and belief with discrimination against Muslims; we can be critical of Islamophobia as a political term used to silence dissent whilst opposing racism. We certainly don't need a lesson in racism from Pride; our members live it every day. Also we can be critical of Islam; this doesn't mean one cannot be Muslim and LGBT. In fact, some Bangladeshi Muslims marched with us on the day. Unlike Pride, CEMB fights on several fronts, including against Islamism, the far-Right and racism. You say some of our placards were "defamatory"? Which ones? Presumably, the defamed can take us to court; we welcome it.

As for your determining whether CEMB has broken your code of conduct and will be able to march again in future parades, we must say this: your decision will be more important for you than for us. After all, we don't need your permission to march for LGBT rights or the rights of apostates. But your decision will determine whether Pride, which has been a source of inspiration for LGBT globally, will continue to be a beacon by showing the courage to give LGBT ex-Muslims the right to self-expression alongside our Muslim friends and family and as a respite from our daily experience which are intrinsically linked with fear, violence and intimidation, or whether it will remain firmly corporate Pride more concerned with causing "offence" that the rights and lives of ex-Muslim and Muslim apostates and LGBT.

As a follow up to a resolution on Pride adopted at the 22-24 July International Conference on Freedom of Expression and Conscience, we ask Pride to do the following:

1) Provide evidence for the serious allegations made against CEMB

2) Make a statement against all laws criminalising homosexuality, apostasy and blasphemy and against incitement to hate and murder by preachers at mosques like the East London mosque

3) Clarify whether by condemning ‘Islamophobia’, Pride meant to side with Islamists supporting the judicial murder of ex-Muslims and gay men

4) Affirm CEMB’s continued presence at Pride in London to show that they side with dissenters and those defending the right to think, live and love as they choose.

Thankfully, as you point out, you don't have a role in making "a legal judgement about offense or freedom of speech." If you did, you would have already imposed de facto blasphemy laws on those of us who have fled de jure blasphemy and apostasy laws which call for our murder.

You do, however, have the chance to do the right thing. Whether you do is another matter.

Sincerely

Maryam Namazie
CEMB Spokesperson
Daniel Fitzgerald
CEMB Pride Organiser

LETTER FROM PRIDE IN LONDON

21ST July 2017

Dear Mr Fitzgerald,

Thank you very much for your email.

As you are aware, we have received a number of complaints regarding some of the placards your group chose to carry during the Pride in London parade.

At its heart, Pride is a movement of acceptance, diversity and unity - a safe place that celebrates difference and rejects intolerance.

Our parade has always been a home to protest, and not just to celebrate, which means we are used to seeing conflicting points of view. The tolerance, acceptance and recognition that we demand for ourselves as LGBT+ people, can only happen if we are also prepared to offer those whose opinions we don’t agree with the same courtesy.

It is also incredibly important to Pride in London that groups are able to use our platform to protest, to challenge authority and stand up for all LGBT+ rights. It is especially important that groups are able to challenge governments and states that continue to persecute, torture, imprison and even kill people simply because of their sexuality.

However, this does not give people in our parade the freedom to ostracise, discriminate against or humiliate anyone else taking part. If any individual or any group does this, they undermine the very principles on which we exist.

Our code of conduct, which every group agreed to as part of taking part in the parade, is very clear on this matter. All volunteers, staff and parade groups agree that Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any individual making derogatory remarks about a person's sexuality, gender, gender identity, race, age, nationality, disability, appearance, religion or any other factor.

LGBT+ Muslims play a vital and important role in London and in Pride. We recognise that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Muslims face discrimination on both sides, from people within their faith and also from within the LGBT+ community.

Over the years the parade has been a place of acceptance for LGBT+ Muslims and this year Imaan, the LGBT+ charity, was voted the winner of the best walking group in the parade for the diversity and passion they displayed. What’s more, this year we supported the ‘Big Gay Iftaar’ as part of the Pride in London festival. We also hosted a vibrant and positive discussion about Islam and the LGBT+ community on the faith episode of our Facebook Live series. This is part of our dedication to supporting the full spectrum of the LGBT+ community.

Equally, it is also very important that individuals who once did but no longer follow the Muslim faith have a welcome place in the Pride parade. We acknowledge the difficulties individuals leaving the faith can sometimes encounter and do not in anyway seek to diminish the significance of those experiences.

To specifically address the complaints we have received, we want to be clear that we do not feel it is our role to make a legal judgement about offense or freedom of speech. However, it is our role to determine if a group has broken our code of conduct and whether they can be permitted to march again in future parades.

It has been argued that some of the placards are a legitimate form of protest. However, there were some placards we feel may have the potential to breach our code of conduct. These placards may be seen to reject the existence of islamophobia, to make defamatory statements about a specific group of people, and overall could have been seen to proactively question the ability to be LGBT+ and Muslim.

We have referred these complaints to our Community Advisory Board, who assess every parade entry after each year and decide on which groups will be allowed to march again. This decision will be taken prior to the opening of parade entries in 2018. Both the CAB and Pride in London commit to ensuring you are able to engage fully in this discussion, and welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss further.

We believe Pride in London must continue to play a vital role in supporting LGBT+ Muslims, as well as those who have left the faith. We want to work with community groups and charities to further these efforts, and would encourage any organisation that can play a role in building a vital bridge to get involved.

We also want to thank you for any support you can provide in the fight against hatred and bigotry. We are eager to stand side-by-side with you in this battle, supporting any actions you take to support LGBT+ people, but we also feel that the LGBT+ community can equally do more to tackle hatred and bigotry in all its forms, especially Islamophobia.

Together, I hope we can build common ground to stand up for communities that are more harmonious and supportive, valuing all citizens, no matter their faith or sexuality.

Michael Salter-Church
Alison Camps
Co-Chairs - Pride in London

Sincerely,

Michael Salter-Church
Alison Camps
Co-Chairs - Pride in London

See with links here: https://www.ex-muslim.org.uk/pride-2/
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)
Jimmy London
Daniel Fitzgerald

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Morality & Social Media

Great Ormond Street Hospital.jpg
Photo: By Nigel Cox

The sad tale of the Charlie Gard and his parents struggle to get him further treatment has been at the centre of media attention for a while now. It has been a difficult and heart-breaking case for all involved. Who cannot but feel sympathy for parents that want their child to live no matter what but also understand the medical prognosis offered by experienced and caring medical staff.

The medical decision to discontinue treatment for young Charlie was not taken lightly either by the doctors or the courts that got involved. There comes a time when no matter how hard it is a final decision has to be made.

Like most people I trust the vast majority of NHS and hospital staff. They have a hard job in making difficult decisions, especially when the parents really do not want to let go. The decision has been made but what worries me is not the actions of doctors or parents but the activity of so-called supporters.

It was reported that both staff and the parents of sick children were abused outside the hospital. What were these idiots thinking. Even worse thousands of hate messages including death threats have been sent to the hospital. Unforgiveable.

What do these "people" think they are doing? Why make threats or send abuse to staff who are just doing their best. Untold thousands of children have been treated in Great ormond Street Hospital over the years. Medical science despite it's advances has its limitations. Doctors are not "gods", they cannot cure everything. Sometimes we have to let go and allow both the parents to grieve and the medical staff learn what they can from this and other cases.

They cannot win them all.

Yet the hate that exists on social media spills over into every sphere these days. For some reason a lot of people just cannot control themselves. Can the monster that the Internet has unleashed ever be controlled?

Probably not but if you have friends that you see step over the line pull them up and say that their words are unacceptable. Of course there are those who spread hate for other reason or hide their true purpose behind lies and half-truths by publishing false news and views on the net.

Just because it's on-line doesn't make it true. Left, right and centre can all be guilty of this but those at the extremes thrive on falsehoods that lead to hate.

As for the average punter. Simply check things out. Look at sites and blogs with which you may not normally agree to gain a balanced view. Too often what goes on-line is not checked, not questioned.

Stop being lazy. Start thinking for yourself. And don't let hate replace reason. That is the challenge for us all.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Politics is broken

Every morning as I make a cup of coffee and look out the window the sight of Grenfell Tower just down the road reminds me of how broken our political system has become. The richest borough in the country put a few measly quid before safety.

The fallout from the fire showed how incompetent our politicians have become. A wealthy council couldn't cope with the problems faced with it's poorest tenants.

It's failure all round as we have a Prime Minister that's not up to the job leading a divided party that barely won the last election against an opposition led by a useless buffoon that should never be allowed to be in charge of anything. As for the other parties the Lib-Dems remain in disgrace and the rest are just maladjusted nationalists of various sorts.

None have anything to offer.

Yet this country faces a difficult future as the UK extricates itself from the European Union. Only the first to go, others may follow to different degrees. Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders has caused a migrant crisis that will have an effect for decades to come. Eastern Europe has closed their borders and Italy struggles to cope with boatloads from Africa.

Poland has rebelled against the EU over the appointment of judges and other countries refuse to take the supposed share of Germany's folly. Even Austria has sent troops to its borders.

Meanwhile the United Nations continues to be a body representing the worst of governments with Saudi Arabia, the world's true apartheid state which remains the only country in the world  where women are denied the right to drive. Their Grand Mufti wants to destroy all churches in the gulf and christians are persecuted across the Middle East in Pakistan, Indonesia and Burenie by intolerant and supremacist Islamist regimes and currents.

A woman is threatened with being burnt to death by conservative clerics for daring to have a photo taken of herself dressed in a mini-skirt. Public caning becomes acceptable in one Indonesian province and history itself is bent to the Islamist agenda as Jewish cultural centres are declared part of Palestinian heritage even though these places existed and were inhabited by Jews long before Arabs and Muslims came along.

The UK government & Opposition is a joke. The Eu is a joke. The Islamic world is beyond parody and the "United Nations" is a failure.

No wonder I despair when I look out the window. The world is broken. The environment polluted, the minds of men seemingly devolving back to barbarity.

That's why I have not blogged regularly for a while, but the time for despair must end. Those who wish to reclaim the middle ground with reason rather than those with ideology and theology must organise, must rally against the growing darkness at home and abroad.

I don't have the answers but those that rule over us or would try to do so must be challenged. Their politics their religions cannot be forced down our throats. The time for the rights of the individual, for free speech and freedom from fear must take centre stage.

The men (and women) of violence exist on the far-left, the far-right and particularly amongst the followers of barbaric medieval religions. Stand up to them now.

Our futures are at stake.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Remembering Martin Landau

Martin Landau-Mission-1968.jpg

Martin Landau the well known star of two iconic TV shows, Mission Impossible and Space 1999 and more sadly passed away at the age of 89.

These two shows were at the centre of many of my generations television viewing. They spawned comics in both Britain and the USA. Landau was critical of Space 1999's scripts apparently. He was married to co-star Barbara Bain from 1957 until they divorced in 1993.

  

Thanks for the memories Martin. Rest In Peace




Sunday, 16 July 2017

Ambisexual fiction

Front cover of the first edition, with art by the Dillons. Cover depicts two faces against an abstract background.
Photo: By Source,

The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor caused some surprise across social media. Most people will have been warned to the possibility of the next or a future Doctor changing gender by the transformation of The Master into the much loved Missy.

Some people have attacked her appointment as "PC gone mad" and there are the usual crowd who do not like change. The only surprise as far as I am concerned is that Jodie is not an actress I am familiar with not having seen Broadchurch or the new St Trinians films.

However this should not come as a shock to hardcore science fiction fans. One famous novel The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin sees an Earthman serving as an ambassador on a planet of "ambisexuals". Wikipedia explains:

The inhabitants of Gethen are ambisexual humans; for twenty-four days (somer) of each twenty-six-day lunar cycle, they are sexually latent androgynes. They only adopt sexual attributes once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility, called kemmer. During kemmer they become sexually male or female, with no predisposition towards either, although which sex they adopt can depend on context and relationships.

I read this book (originally published in 1969) in the early seventies when I was still at school and think it just might be time to pick up a copy again if it is still in print.

The point is that critics should not see the Doctors sex change as "PC" but as part of a wider tapestry of possibilities within creation that can be explored by science fiction

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

FBU attack Ex-Muslims as "Islamophobic"

CEMB.png

The presence of members of the Council of Ex Muslims in Britain on the recent Pride march has not just caused a reaction from the usual Islamist suspects including some very nasty and misogynistic comments posted on Maryam Namazie's Facebook page. 

However it seems even amongst the trade unions supposed bastions of freedom there are those who seek to misrepresent not just the CEMB but also the positions of atheists, secularists and those with legitimate criticisms of Islam.

A certain Lucy Masoud of the FBU (Fire Brigades Union) writes:

Union members who attended this year’s London Pride parade on Saturday were shocked to find out that they would be marching alongside an Islamophobic group.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), who claim to be gay former Muslims, carried offensive signs such as ‘F**K Islam’ and ‘East London Mosque Incites Murder of Homosexuals’. Their inclusion in the Pride parade caused much concern amongst other participants, including union members who were marching with the London Fire Brigade and were positioned alongside the anti-Islamic group.

The CEMB have written to Matt Wrack with the following response:

Dear Mr Wrack, FBU General Secretary,

It has been drawn to our attention that Ms Lucy Masoud, treasurer of the Fire Brigades Union in London, has written a blog on The FBU website stating that the presence of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) at Pride was “hate on display” and that the group is “islamophobic” (https://www.fbu.org.uk/blog/hate-display-pride). CEMB has responded to the post and would like to know whether this is the FBU’s official position (https://www.ex-muslim.org.uk/fbu-we-are-combating-hate-not…/).

As we have mentioned in our response to Ms Masoud, there is a clear distinction between criticism of religion and the religious-Right versus bigotry against people. Charges of islamophobia erroneously conflate the two. In fact, CEMB’s presence at Pride aimed to combat the hate perpetrated against ex-Muslims and LGBT and to defend the right to reject and criticise religion without fear. This was political protest at its best. Had the FBU not recently backed calls to reclaim Pride as political protest?

Given that apostasy, blasphemy and homosexuality are punishable by death in many countries under Islamic rule, our being at Pride was an important moment for our members, many of whom are refugees. It would be unfortunate if the FBU officially defended the vilification of a minority within a minority providing further justification for our persecution by implying that “offence” is more important than murder.

We look forward to hearing from you on your union’s position.

Thank you for your response in advance. We attach a copy of a photo with FBU members and two of ours taken at Pride.

Sincerely

Maryam Namazie, CEMB Spokesperson
Daniel Fitzgerald CEMB Pride Organiser
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mind Your Language

A Tory MPs career lies in tatters tonight as the row over her use of a very outdated and frankly racist phrase "n****r in the woodpile". Totally unacceptable in this day and age even if it wasn't used in any "racist context" the use of the "n" word (unless it's by a rapper and even then...) is no longer acceptable.

Times and language have changed as have tastes and humour. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last that someone will get into trouble over their use of language. Carol Thatcher had her career wrecked for telling someone they looked like a golliwog. Rula Lenska caused outrage when she used the phrase "dirty lying arab" on Big Brother.

The argument over whether a golliwog is itself racist continues. Many people grew up with them and a West Indian friend of mine collected those badges issued by Robertson's Jam and didn't think much of it even now.

I'm no fan of political correctness but there are limits. Some language should rightly be condemned to the dustbin of history though I do not believe like some that literature should be revised from the time they were written in and there are both artistic and political reasons for their use within films and literature to express bigotry, but for general use no more.

Why Anne Marie Morris couldn't think of a more suitable phrase such as "fly in the ointment" for example is a mystery especially as she had to distance herself from words used by her husband on immigrants children. Some people are their own worst enemies.....


Sunday, 9 July 2017

More Pointless Anarchist Violence




Every time the G20 meets there is a riot. So often in fact that despite the rampant violence orchestrated by hardline anarchists that it barely makes a mark on the news anymore. Just another riot consisting of masked, black clothed youths smashing windows, burning cars and rucking with the police.

Its happened so often one wonders if anyone, the participants included actually remember what they are protesting about.  Looks like sheer nihilism to me rather than any polical statement.

The German Anarchist Federation website refers to the event as "the big event of the left-radical scene in 2017".  
The Black Rose published a statement which included:

In Hamburg and in every village, an infinite number of targets are suitable for destruction, so we should start now with it. So that in July 2017 the alienation between the world of the G - 20 and the rest has become so great, that we no longer need summits to come together. The militant campaign against the G8 in Heiligendamm 2007 could serve as a model, because it also gave, apart from pointless preliminary proceedings, a new generation of activists through self-determined clandestine actions and the fleeing cops from the hail of stones in Rostock, a Feeling of their own strength and the possibilities of horizontal organization.

In addition we also call for a theoretical deepening of our practice, in which the presence or absence of anarchy should be tested for revolts, as recently as France, spectacles such as Frankfurt in March 2015, rituals such as on May 1, or in The everyday neighborhood policy and in the fight against the Nazis.

Because everywhere we are, we can not complain about the dominance of reformists. And where there are only empty phrases with an available, it makes the superficial chattering of the "consensus of actions" heard with following distancing. Such a discourse would have to go beyond the hitherto (welcome) brief G - 20 references in the responsibility claims.

Attack G-20 summit! Throw Hamburg into chaos! Destroy the European fortress!

Insurrection News reports of their "victories" on behalf of the people.
During the early morning of the summit on Saturday, we torched a diplomatic vehicle (license plate beginning with ‘0’) parked in the Dohrnweg in Hamburg-Sternschanze. The minibus used for transportation of government members was completely destroyed, a friendly welcome to the political riots that took place in the neighborhood.

We would like to document this action as one of many that took place during the insurgent days in Hamburg that cannot be condemned as either ‘senseless’ or ‘randomly targeted.’ We stand in complete solidarity with the looting and the rioting of the summit nights that some are currently condemning as ‘counterproductive’. 

So there you have it. This minor piece of destruction is seen as some kind of major move forward for the workers. 

Having witnessed small groups of anarchists riot on our pensions march a few years ago these morons have nothing to offer anyone. Making a country "ungovernable" as their slogan on the cover of GaiDo suggests won't liberate anyone. If anything those that would suffer the most would be the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

Political violence is a sign of failure and those that indulge in it usually become the oppressors themselves.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Momentum on the March


Mao Zedong


If there is one thing that Theresa May will never be forgiven for it is her incompetence in dealing with the rise of Corbyn and his movement. From a position of seemingly overwhelming strength she had the ability to route the most useless and dangerous Labour Party leader that this country has ever seen. From dominating the polls May went on to barely hanging on to power having to go to the religiously motivated DUP in order to survive.

The consequences of the last election will reverberate for some time.

Already the far-left or hard-left whatever you want to call them are on the move with attacks already being made on Jewish MP Luciana Berger being told she must apologise for criticising the Dear Leader by the Momentum thought police. Big Brother is here and they are about to launch an assault on parliamentary democracy.

According to The Times (no link £):

A fifth of Labour MPs have appeared on a deselection hitlist drawn up by left-wing activists emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn's election success.....

A grassroots Momentum group in South Tyneside published a list of 49 prominent Labour figures including Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Jess Phillips suggesting they should "join the Liberals". 

Apparently:

Mr Corbyn's office claimed to be neutral on the question of reselections.

Meanwhile:

Momentum is not campaigning for the deselection of individual MPs but a spokesman said it "supports local initiatives that make sure members have a say in how their party works and who represents them.

In other words the purge is on. The new "Red Guard" has already found these MPs guilty of not toeing the party line as they see it and the whole nature of the Labour Party is being set to change, not to the future but to the past as "democratic centralism", a Leninist concept of authority is imposed on the party.

This is not a new phenomenon. One of the arguments that took place when the left took over the PCS union was over their concept that the union should be activist led rather than a representative body. One, now former NEC member Bev Laidlaw once told me it was "in the members interests " to back Corbyn when I queried why they were not consulting their membership. Glad I'm out of it. There was for me an alternative union to join, but when it comes to the Labour Party there is currently no alternative.

The Corbynistas dominate the Labour Party and whilst Momentum may only represent a fraction of that pro-Corbyn membership their use of social media will allow them to ram home the new politics of the intolerant left.

Thousands of moderates or mainstream activists have left Labour since Corbyn's ascendency. Others are seemingly just capitulating to the comrades demands. There is no organised fightback. No mainstream equivalent of Momentum.

There remains talk of an alternative party but because the seeming success of Corbyn and Labour's continuing growth of Labours fortunes in the poll the prospects for any kind of realignment seem bleak.

If Momentum continue to pick off MPs over the next five years then there will be little hope for the mainstream to regain the party.

For the time being it seems those of us in the political centre are homeless. Joining Labour is not an attractive prospect for any of us. The thought of constant battles in meetings with rabid Corbyn supporters does not appeal.

They don't listen.

The problem remains. The thought of a Corbyn led Labour government literally frightens the hell out of me.  The question needs to be asked. What next?

I do not pretend to know the answer.......

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Militant feeling left out

Socialist Party logo


Readers may recall that the Socialist Party  the group that used to be known as the Militant Tendency launched a campaign to get 75 of their members reinstated inside the Labour Party. They even put a petition on-line. Trouble was nobody but members of their own declining and isolated sect plus a couple of hangers on signed it. This "campaign faded away...

But it seems the comrades have not given up hope and The Coventry Telegraph reports:

Former Labour MP Dave Nellist has failed in his bid to rejoin the party under Jeremy Corbyn .

Mr Nellist was expelled from the party in 1991 for being too left wing and is currently leader of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). He is also a member of the Socialist Party.

He was among 75 people expelled from the party who wrote to the party’s National Executive Committee asking to be re-admitted in November 2016 .

But Labour Party general secretary Iain McNicol has written to Mr Nellist and others to say they are not eligible to rejoin while they are affiliated to another political party.

However, Mr Nellist told the Telegraph he was not giving up and was now actively pursuing a coalition between the Socialist Party and Labour which would allow members to have dual membership.


Allowing members of the Socialist Party/Militant membership of the Labour Party seems too much even for Commissar McNicoll it would seem.  As for a "coalition", even members of Momentum must be pissing themselves with laughter at that thought.

The problem for the Socialist Party (and it's rival the SWP) is that Corbynism has undermined their potential for recruiting new cadres. These groupscules have become even more irrelevant than they were in the past. Even though the SP control the largest civil service union the PCS, the comrades have found that two-thirds of the union's branches are opposed to affiliating to the Labour Party.

Comrade Nellist has practically nothing to bring to the table except perhaps a turgid weekly newspaper that hardly anyone reads, even on-line because it's so boring.

Times up comrades time to retire to the south of France where there's a whole colony of old Millie's enjoying the sunshine.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Class War and the Corbyn Cult

The future of politics looks bleak with the appearance of this video from anarchist veterans Class War who have at least been consistently talking bollocks since like forever. The reaction of the Corbynistas is what amazes me. They start singing some dreadful song "Oh Jeremy Corbyn".

This at a time when Ian Lavery MP, Corbyn's Gauleiter declared that the Labour Party is "too broad" which in plain English means the left will brook no opposition. The purges are on the way, not that anyone should have expected any different. It's how the left works.

Just ask Trotsky the purger who got purged!

Keep yer ice-picks handy comrades......

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The usual suspects


Photo: By Nirwrath

The first time I came across The Canary (no link, I consider it a hate site) was when they attacked Charlie Brooker for daring, yes daring to take the piss out of their high and mighty Jeremy Corby. A frightening prospect that the lefts thought police were hard at work not just in universities suppressing anyone they didn't agree with in case it "triggered" them (whatever that really f*cking means).

Ban meeting, ban speakers, ban papers and ban humour, or at least anything that takes the mick out of them. It's not exactly a new phenomenon. Used to see it at PCS union conference. Always some jerk (or jerks) who don't think anyone has the right to to take the piss out of their politics.

Yet this week were subjected to the self-righteous editor of The Canary one Kerry-Anne Mendoza on Question Time. It takes all-sorts I suppose and frankly anything is better than that washed out old opportunist George Galloway. The claim that the Canary is "alternative media is nonsense. Like the RT Channel or Press TV it just serves up propaganda.

Then came the march to bring down the Tories that John McDonnell called for. A million would hit the streets and May would not last one day longer. In the event despite the staged bromance between the lefts previous Messiah, Mark Serwotka and the new one Jeremy Corbyn at most the event attracted 15 to 20,000 people. Not really the stuff revolutions are made of.

So much for mob rule thankfully.

Meanwhile that champion of human rights Gerry Adams (no laughing at the back) was marching for Gay Marriage in Northern Ireland. Too much to answer for that "man" and comrade of Corbyn. Besides his well known past Sinn Fein want to unite with Eire which last time I looked was a Christian theocracy. Hardly a place for equal rights even if they do have an openly gay PM.

Then to top it all at the annual commemoration of those that fell in the Spanish Civil War Tosh McDonald hurled abuse about Israel at the time a Jewish man went to lay his reef. Appalling. Not anti-Zionism. Just hate. Israel had nothing to do with this event and the ASLEF leader knew that.

He has brought his union into disrepute and is facing accusations of anti-Semitism. I wonder why?

This is the reality of today's left. Blind faith, propaganda, mob rule and racism.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Dissent Verboten!

Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund.svg

I woke up this morning and was subjected to the sight of a video on You Tube of a woman who got a tattoo of Jeremy Corbyn on her arm after joining the Labour Party to vote for him. She wasn't a disaffected yoof with university fees to worry about. She was an adult, taken in by the cult of Steptoe that has taken over the Labour Party.

These are strange times indeed as Corbyn sacks rebels from his front bench, a rather hypocritic action given he has rebelled against the Labour whip more times than any other Labour MP. One rule for the left dissent verboten for everyone else.

In-fighting is now breaking out all over the Labour Party as the Corbynistas go for the jugulars of any MP or Labour Party official that dare oppose them. Old Steptoe himself supposedly does not support deselection but doesn't actually stop his followers from acting against his colleagues.

The latest target is reported by the Bristol Post:

A pro-Jeremy Corbyn group is pushing for a change in Labour Party rules which could lead to Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire being deselected - just weeks after she secured one of the biggest majorities in the country.

The Bristol Post understands that several Momentum supporters are backing an amendment to the party's constitution at an extraordinary general meeting tonight. The change in how Labour selects its prospective parliamentary candidates would make it easier to challenge and potentially deselect sitting MPs. Several other Labour branches across the country are expected to back the amendment, with the aim of getting it debated at the Labour Party conference this autumn.......


Despite her incredible 37,336 majority, Ms Debbonaire would be vulnerable to a Momentum takeover due to her previous clashes with Mr Corbyn.

Momentum are organising against those that will not toe the line in a true Stalinist fashion. It is likely that this hybrid group, not actually affiliated with Labour and containing many outsiders will organise cult supporters to flood meetings. Whether "moderates" or others will be able to stem this tide is far from clear.

Momentum has become by far the largest far-left outfit this country has ever seen and it uses modern methods to spread it's message. Instead of selling the paper in the traditional manner (which never reached that many no matter what the group), their use of social media has allowed for the use of dumbed down messages and memes to influence potential supporter.

Modern politics no longer needs d the deep thinking of weighty "theoretical journals" (that took three months to produce and three hours to read if anyone could be bothered) when a sound bite will do. "What do we want!" takes on a whole new meaning when people simply do not learn about the real world and only see absolute rights (for themselves) and bugger everyone else.

The new "left" if they can really be described as such have failed to learn the lessons of history, let alone economics. These new breed of activists are highly intolerant.  From the safe-spacers and intersectionalist proponents in universities and "minority" movements to the blinkered anti-imperialist, anti-war types there is a growing new fascism.

Free speech and even free thought is under threat. The new activists do not believe in democracy only their march to control us all.

First they'll come for the Zionists Jews..........

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Peoples Assembly Against Democracy

Coat of arms or logo

In choosing a graphic to go with this blog I just could not help but pick the symbol of Enver Hoxha's "People's Assembly" which laughingly used to get 99.9% of the vote for its candidates. Democracy did not exist in Communist Albania and the anti-democratic tradition of the left is alive and well on a March due to take place in Central London this Saturday.

The organisers, mainly a bunch of Trotskyists and Momentum types are calling for the ousting of Conservative Government despite there just having been an election and though it was not an overwhelming result, the fact remains the Tories did get more vote and far more seats than any other party.

The trouble with the left is that they don't really believe in democracy, only control. The politics of the far left are "vanguardist" and authoritarian. They believe they know what's best for the working class even if most of these cadres are far from working class themselves.

The leadership of the party always substitutes itself for the class. Thats the history of socialism around the world. Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez. You name the regime there was or is only dictatorship.

And the brutality of these regimes has been shown throughout history. The left have an inbuilt intolerance of dissent even within their own ranks. Trotsky suppressed not just non-party opposition but also that which developed within the Communist Party itself. The irony being that his own methodology was turned against him and his supporters in the Left opposition by Stalin.

One only has to look on line at the behaviours of so many Corbyn supporting types to recognise the danger inherent in their movement. If you are not with them you are a "traitor", a "Red Tory" let alone a "Blairite" which seems to be the worst sin of all.

I was told on line that "only an idiot or a millionaire" would not support Corbyn. There is no middle ground for these people. They just cannot even imagine for one second they might be wrong and those not with them are not fit to have thoughts that differ.

So when you see the comrades march remember this is how Stalinism begins. No better than fascism. The new blackshirts are here and they wear red.



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Film: Whitewashed: Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

An important film for these troubled times when Corbynism has led to anti-Semitism entering the political mainstream where it has been simmering for years in the far-left so-called anti-imperialists movement.

A new type of fascism is on the rise. It's not just Jews that need to be concerned but also anyone who dares disagree with the false Messiah Corbyn and his followers.

Please take the time to watch this.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Musical Interlude: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

With all this great weather and crap politics about I've been taking a break from blogging for a few days and enjoying reading some old 2000Ad and Savage Sword of Conan comics.

No doubt I'll be motivated to blog on politics very shortly but in the meantime here's some music from the very cute Kyary (pronounced Carrie).

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Comedy Interlude: Day of Rage...

The far-left was planning a "Day of Rage" today. Not sure what happened to it. Perhaps their parents sent them to bed early.

Meanwhile....

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

McCluskey Sacks Political Opponent Scandal

So much for democracy. Len Mccluskey, the Marxist General Secretary of Unite has sacked the man who dared challenge him in the recent election.

STATEMENT FROM GERARD COYNE

I have been notified by email that I have been sacked from my position as West Midlands Regional Secretary of Unite the union following a disciplinary hearing held at Unite’s London office on June 15th.

I am deeply disappointed but not surprised at my dismissal. When you are in a kangaroo court, you are rarely surprised by the outcome.

I have held the post for 16 years and no complaint was raised during the hearing about how I carried out that role.

However, during the disciplinary process I was informed that union rules require a regional secretary to be “the General Secretary’s representative in the region.”

It was implied that because of the way I criticised Len McCluskey during the campaign I could not fulfil that role any longer.

Seven charges were originally made against me that it was claimed amounted to gross misconduct. They consisted of such heinous crimes as publicly criticising and challenging Mr McCluskey’s decisions in leaflets, newspapers and social media. All related to my conduct during the General Secretary election campaign.

Three of those charges I managed to knock out before the hearing and three were dismissed at the final hearing. The final one related to to an alleged technical data breach, which it was claimed had damaged Unite-Labour Party relations.

This preposterous trumped up charge has been used to indict me - even though the Returning Officer from Electoral Reform Services had already ruled that there was no breach of the rules.

It was always clear to me that the charges were nothing more than a stitch-up. My real ‘crime’ was having the audacity to challenge Mr McCluskey in the General Secretary election that he called unnecessarily.

The disciplinary hearing was nothing more than a show trial and the irony not lost on me that Mr McCluskey’s chief of staff, Andrew Murray - a self-confessed admirer of Joseph Stalin - was the investigator and decision maker on the charge I was dismissed for.

It is beyond parody that I, as a 30-year member of the Labour Party, should be accused of harming Unite-Labour relations by Mr Murray, a member of the Communist Party for 40 years.

It is a public warning to any member of Unite’s staff who is thinking of challenging the way the McCluskey gang run the union: ‘step out of line, and you will be out of a job’. Political dissent is not tolerated inside Unite.

However, I will not be bullied into silence. Once the Certification Officer has considered my complaint about the conduct of the election, I am looking forward to a re-run of the contest. We will build a union where members interests are always put first - not subordinated to the political machinations of a clique.

I will be appealing against the decision

Monday, 19 June 2017

The Elephant in the Room


Photo: By Bit Boy

It's getting to the point whereby I dread switching on the television or more likely changing the channel when I get up in the morning as there is seemingly one tragedy after another these days. The latest was an assault on a group of worshippers emerging from their prayers at the Finsbury Mosque by some lunatic in a van.

At the time of writing whether he acted alone or was part of some extreme right wing group is actually unknown. However what happened did seem to have a certain "inevitability" about it.  Whilst much of what is described as "Islamphobia" is somewhat exaggerated there certainly is a growing resentment towards the Muslim community, particularly the obviously religious in the country.

And oddly unlike all the other atrocities that have taken place today there was little to no talk of it around me, except in whispers. Have people become accustomed to these kind of attacks or were some people hiding their true feelings about what I have seen on social media described as "karma"?

If so then there is reason for all of us to be worried. Islamic extremism is a very real and major threat. Of that there can be no denial. There is also increasing deference to "islam" across the cultural and political fields that disturbs our mostly secular way of life, but resorting to the violence is certainly not the answer or the way forward.

Whilst many have legitimate criticisms of the Islamic creed and it's intolerance I do not wish to live in a country where people cannot go about their business, including worship in fear of attack. This will only enhance the self-imposed isolation that the majority of the Muslim community already feel.

The key must be in integration whereby worshippers (of all religions) separate their godly fealties from the secular requirements that are a necessity in a modern and truly inclusive society. Believe in what you will but human rights and equal rights must take precedence over all and any religion or political creed.

The Muslim community must face up to the problems that have brought it into disrepute with other sections of society. I speak not just of the Jihadists, though they are the most pressing problem but when they complain, sometimes rightly of being treated as outsiders then their leaders must ask why has the rise of anti-Semitism gone hand in hand with the expansion of Islam within the UK. Further the Muslim community must re examine its attitudes to the Ahmadiyya Muslims who are persecuted by the mainstream for daring to differ.

There was a case where a man travelled hundreds of miles to kill one newsagent, a Ahmadiyya Muslim, who other Muslims don't see as Muslims at all. Just for wishing his customers Happy Christmas.

Then there is Rochdale. A rape and abuse tragedy that went on for years because the authorities were too afraid to confront the abusers in case the were called racists. Look at the victims, not the perpetrators when making such judgements.

The Muslim community has a right to exist and worship within the law of this land and be respected for doing so, but at the same time the sheer medievalism, cultural & political backwardness and refusal to integrate will hold them back.

There can be no compulsion in religion and that is the end of it. If someone criticizes your faith, just learn to live with it.

The future by necessity must be secular.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

A sombre nation

Grenfell Tower fire (wider view).jpg
Photo: By Natalie Oxford

I awoke to the disaster which was Grenfell Tower and looked at the pouring smoke from the building from my twelth floor balcony in horror. I cannot imagine what was going through the minds of those directly affected and still inside. Even now we still don't know how many have died. Clearly the body count will increase as the investigation in the ruins begins.

Having lived in a tower block for near on twenty years fire is one of those things you really hope does not happen but has even here on my floor in one of the flats opposite. The fire was contained and we were only evacuated for a short time. The buildings all concrete. No bloody cladding. Whoever thought that was a good idea should never be let near a building site again.

People died because of politically motivated aesthetics from what I can see. Never again should council or social housing residents ever be put in such a position again.

This comes at a time when the nation is still in shock from several terrorist atrocities, events which have united ordinary people against a common foe. The latest disaster shows how divided we have become as a nation and frankly how leaderless we have become.

Theresa May having messed up electorally, now fails to show true grit by meeting the residents. Corbyn got better press though his supporters actions in and around the protests leave a lot to be desired. Only the Queen came out of this as a figure with any public credibility in myview.

The nation lacks decent politicians. Neither May nor Corbyn or the outsider Farron come close to the standards of the politicians I grew up with. Where are the Harold Wilson's and Denis Healy's or even (god forbid) the Margaret Thatcher's of this world? Such a grim lack of talent on the front benches.

The only politician to impress me of recent times was Hilary Benn and he's in no position to take a leading role due to rise of the far-left inside Labour. The Tories are at their weakest ever and the alternative is a shower of rabid protesters who don't understand how democracy works as shown by McDonnells call for a million on the streets to bring down the Tories.

Meanwhile as the nation remains in a mournful state there will be an "al-Quds" day march with the flags of the Iranian backed terrorist organisation Hezbollah being flown in the streets of London. An insult to the victims of terrorism in this country.

A march that will be attended by many supporters of Corbyn, though he himself is likely to shy away from attending unlike in previous years.

For those who want to see a return to political rationalism the extremes of ideology that seem to be taking hold the failure of Mrs May to front a decent election campaign that if based on her seeming "one-nation" conservatism could have broken the Corbynistas is blindingly obvious.

There seems little hope that a decent political choice will exist by the next general election which will be sooner rather than later. So many Labour types have surrendered to Corbyn. Their party is currently lost to reason as are the Conservatives.

There seems little hope for the immediate future on all fronts. Weak government, terrorist threats and a disastrous brexit all add up to a more than uncertain future.

Will reason ever prevail?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Musical Interlude: Slade

Not in the mood for politics at the moment, so here's a little tune from Slade to help celebrate Noddy Holder's Birthday. 71 today would you believe.......

Monday, 12 June 2017

Comedy Interlude: Irish Politics Explained!

I was surprised at the number of people at work who had no idea who the DUP were or hadn't heard of them.

However this may help........ or not.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The truce can only be temporary.



Whilst waiting for a bus in Shaftesbury Avenue yesterday afternoon I could not help but overhear the conversation by the others standing there about the general election. All participants obviously from different countries and none with English as their first language. They seemed confused as does much of the activist class on the left to be honest.

Jeremy Corbyn did a lot better, much better than anyone including myself was expecting. Theresa May did appallingly badly. A contest that went from the cult of the personality around Corbyn to one with no personality with May.

Corbyn still lost though, no matter how either he or his supporters want to spin it.

However no matter how one looks at the result the Conservative Party blew it big time and the electorate were not impressed.

The polls got it wrong except for the last one. The Exit Poll predicted a hung parliament and that's what we got.

So what happened and why? That the Prime Minister has decided to continue, at least for now is unsurprising and given the parliamentary arithmetic was the only choice. A rainbow coalition of Corbyn and all the others would not have been enough, especially with Sinn Fein refusing to take up its seven seats.

Enter the DUP, an Irish political party founded by the divisive figure and self appointed Reverend Ian Paisley. In essence a very right-wing and dangerously religious formation thats politics consist of the bible and a soft brexit. Their MP's are like so many religious maniacs anti-gay marriage , anti-abortion and pro-creationist.

I'd almost say god help us but I'm an atheist!

Labour has lost the third election in a row but there has been a return to the seventies, the early years with a hung parliament as Mrs May faces the same problems Edward Heath did and the country has seemingly returned to a two party system with over 80% of the electorate voting for one of the two main parties. The Liberals are seemly buggered for now and that's without another Jeremy...

The big swing to Labour was from young voters whose abstention during the referendum cost them their future in the EU. This time and via social media and particularly in University towns the under 25's surged to support Corbyn based on promises of free education and lots of other free stuff.

The Labour Manifesto made promises that attracted people. The Tory Manifesto just pissed voters off. Dementia Tax? Forget it. No deal over Brexit? No thanks.

But herein lies Labour's problem for the future. Corbyn's Manifesto was written on the basis of a "wish list", one that would not need to be implemented. It was based on the premise that the party would lose and only "the fight", the campaign would matter. It's easy to make promises that won't need to be delivered.

One wonders what would have happened had Corbyn actually walked into No 10.

There will be another election in due course. Theresa May will not survive for long. The knives are already out for her scalp. The deal with the DUP will only last so long and is only a "confidence and supply" arrangement. Government will of necessity be pragmatic.

The Tories will regroup learn from their arrogance and mistakes and return with a new leaders, a new strategy and will not shirk the televised debates. Their manifesto will ditch the controversies and the protection of the pensioner base will return.

A new leader is likely to be more "business friendly" than May turned out. Soft Brexit will be the aim. Jobs first.

Then Labour buoyed by its seeming resurgence will realise that a new manifesto will need to take into account political reality because if it doesn't they will like Clegg before them permanently alienate so many supporters who have been energised by the Corbyn cult. Much of Labour's manifesto is blatantly undeliverable though many of the young will not relate to reasoning why.

To the young (and I remember my youth well) it's a question of "right or wrong". Grey areas are not considered. As the Corbynistas return to the politics of the past I am reminded of something else I noticed during my journey yesterday. Young people do not seem to read newspapers, just us oldies whose habits die hard.

More to the point the use of social media tends to exclude those with whom they disagree. Memes and shared posts to reinforce perceived outlooks are the order of the day. And a local Momentum Organiser dared to accuse me of being brainwashed by the Daily Mail, a paper I do not read.  The Times is my paper of choice. It just informs me. I use other sources, albeit on-line for different views and oddly I seemed to read far more of the left's sites than he did!

The country faces an uncertain few months and years ahead. Just like the seventies. Except the threat is not IRA bombs (for now) or Communism (though that's open to debate) but from Islamist terror and Russian imperialism. Same threats from different quarters.

For now Corbyn is secure and his supporters will take advantage. Those moderates who held their noses and /or campaigned for Labour with so many Labour MP's disowning Corbyn had better watch out. The left are still waiting in the wings to purge.

The truce can only be temporary. Corbyn's promises will motivate for now but when he does not deliver what happens then.

The mainstream left/centre must be prepared for the inevitable. Politics is indeed "out of the box" as old Steptoe likes to tell us but in my view this will hopefully be his ceiling and the future remains an unwritten page.

Organise against Corbyn and Momentum for the future. Unite the moderate factions before it is too late.

Friday, 9 June 2017

First Brexit, Now a Hung Parliament


Photo: By Owltom

When I retired to bed during the referendum I expected to wake up to a small but assured majority to remain in Europe. The actual result both shocked and sowed the foundations of division that has beset the nation ever since.

Now the general election is over and never has a Prime Minister squandered an opportunity more than Theresa May. From leading in the polls and and having a high personal rating because of a divided and ineffective opposition under Jeremy Corbyn who was expected by most including myself to lead the Labour Party to a wipeout May has succeeded in only sealing her own eventual resignation.

At the time of writing there are still three seats to declare but the result is clear. The Tories remain the largest party but can only rule with the help of 10 Ulster loyalist MP's in the DUP. This position only marginally helped by the fact Sinn Fein has captured extra seats and will not sit in the House of Commons as they will not take a loyalty oath to the Queen.

While the Tory knives will be out this morning and reports of a "Stop Boris" campaign have already been heard, Corbyn the most unsuitable candidate ever will be safe for the next five years.

Already the Momentum types have been on social media proclaiming the need for a purge. The Corbynistas are now emboldened and arrogant in their advance. How the moderate mainstream will cope with this reality will be seen over the coming months.

As nationalism retreats in Scotland, it advances in Northern Ireland. The nation remains as divided as ever with Brexit negotiations about to begin the country is in a weak position. It is rare that I would agree with Corbyn but his comment that we should immediately protect the rights of EU citizens lining in the UK would be a sign of good faith.

European leaders will not take the Prime Minister seriously therefore she must go sooner rather than later. Who will replace her is however unclear. Certainly not Amber Rudd a parliamentary newby who barely survived last night.

The choices are limited. There is in all parties a lack of political talent, a product of the modern age of social media?

Brexit has led to a hung parliament and a more uncertain future. In all probability this country will need a second general election later in the year just like 1974.

Well the left have dragged us back to the seventies.....

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Are we there yet?

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It's not often I would consider writing a post in the middle of the night (it's exactly 3:30am as I begin to type) but this election night has been full of surprises. The Prime Minister, despite winning her own seat is doing extremely badly with gains far and few between and then mainly from the SNP whilst actually losing seats to Labour including the gross ben Gummer in Ipswich.

One of the big surprises was Nick Clegg losing his seat in Sheffield Hallam. I think a lot of people like myself forgot he didn't get the boot last time. There's even a recount going on in Hastings where Amber Rudd may lose her seat.

Vince Cable is back in Twickenham with a whacking great majority over the Tories and the Lib Dems have also gained Kingston. The Liberals are already up to 9 seats, two more than the last election.

Corbyn's mates in Sinn Fein  have gained two seats from the moderate SDLP, a worrying sign for Northern Ireland.

The SNP's bubble has burst and the previously arrogant Nicola Sturgeon seems to be eating a wee bit of "humble pie" at the moment. So far they have lost 14 seats!

Labour have even rolled out the somewhat discredited Shami Chakrabarti to replace the "ill" Diane Abbott to comment on the election results.

The late surge for Labour is an unexpected outcome and seems to be despite Corbyn, though younger voters have reacted positively to him.

A hung parliament seems to be the most likely outcome at the moment. Theresa May is the one who will be looking to depart. She has no mandate and what credibility she had has gone out the window. How quickly fortunes have changed in just a few weeks.

Back tomorrow with the election obituary.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The day before tomorrow

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Image: By RaviC

The general election is nearly upon us. In a few hours the polling booths open and the people (who bother to vote) will get their say. The outcome is far from the certainty that existed at the beginning of the campaign.

Or is it?

On the face of it the gap between Labour and the Tories has closed but the outcome will also depend not just on the number of votes cast but also their distribution and it is with this  possibility that Labour may become more unstuck than the opinion polls would suggest.

Labour's vote is holding up and possibly increasing (particularly amongst the young) in London but looks increasingly likely to collapse elsewhere. Even this may be dependent on the weather. Labour voters are notoriously put off by rain.

The end result could be a Labour collapse on an unprecedented scale despite Theresa May's more than lacklustre campaign.

Or it might not.

Only tomorrow night will we finally find out the nations verdict.

Despite all the talk of "hung parliaments" and coalitions the most likely outcome remains a Tory victory. Only its size remains in question.

For me the important factor is that Corbyn and his neo-blackshirts are beaten to the extent that Labour can either be retaken by the mainstream (I dislike the term moderates) or the foundations for something new are established for the future.

If the opposition is to survive and turn into a party that is both capable and competent then the Triumvirate of Corbyn/McDonnell and Abbott must be thrown into the dustbin of history where they belong.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Another Musical Interlude from Aldious

Time for a break from the world of politics with another little number from Aldious one of my favourite bands from Japan.

These girls rock.

Just enjoy.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Man Who Would Destroy Britain


Photo: By DAVID HOLT

With the main political parties suspending campaigning because of the terrorist atrocity in London last night I had considered not proceeding with this post however since some are now suggesting that the election should be postponed I decided to continue. The reason? The Islamist criminals want to interfere with not just our democratic process but our whole way of life. 

My thoughts this morning are with the families and friends of those murdered and maimed yesterday .
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The general election is just four days away. The outcome seems to be that of a Tory win, only the scale of their victory remains in question. The future will be decided not on the re-election of May as Prime Minister but on whether Corbyn (a) continues as Labour leader and (b) the scale of their defeat.

The choice for many is stark. Theresa May has performed badly in this campaign allowing the even more dire and frankly villainous Corbyn to gain ground. What should have been a walkover may not turn out to be.

Nevertheless Corbyn remains the most dangerous politician in Britain. He does not have this countries interests at heart and is friends with most of our enemies. Form the IRA (who are seemingly still active following a raid by the Irish Garda) through Hamas & Hezbollah to the mad, bad clerics in Iran and of course the Russian bear himself Vladimir Putin.

Corbyn's economic model is based on an unaffordable wish list that may exite some voters but will lead the country to bankruptcy and third world status. His plan to ally with the SNP, who like him oppose Trident will see our defences and deterrents as well as our nation itself fall apart.

As rioting takes place in Caracas where the socialists can't even provide toilet paper for the masses we need to consider the consequences of Brexit where obvious difficulties will herald a crisis. The Prime Minister is cantankerous but Corbyn will just roll over to any demands.

Just like his defence policy, Corbyn will raise the white flag.

Then there's the racism. Yes racism.  Under Corbyn the Labour Party has been responsible for the rise of anti-Semitism in the mainstream. The left's courting of the Islamic community makes Jews surplus to requirements in the minds of the the anti-imperialists.

Corbyn and his mates condemn Israel above all nations despite the daily crimes committed by the nations of Allah against basic human rights. Women, Gays, Christians and minorities of all sorts have been abandoned by the left.

There remain some good people inside Labour despite all this, but if Corbyn does not go and take his band of Red Fascists with him the party does not and cannot have a future.

On Thursday consider not this election, but the one after. Corbyn must go. He must be defeated and the left pushed back to the primeval swamps from which they emerged.

Corbyn threatens our way of life as do his friends around the world this ideological quisling is not fit for power.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Unite Election: Gerard Coyne makes an appeal

Gerard Coyne

It’s not over yet...

I know that I have been quiet since the election result, I have been busy compiling a legal challenge against the conduct of the Unite the Union, General Secretary Election.

Today I have submitted my legal challenge to the Certification Officer.

I believe the election conducted breached the Union’s rules, the requirements of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”) and was conducted in a manner which breached the principles of article 3 of Protocol 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

I am challenging the election on the grounds that the procedures of the union and the actions of a series of employees of the Union have been manipulated by Mr McCluskey (and by employees of the Union who were committed to seeing Mr McCluskey re-elected as General Secretary) and so the electoral process was subverted to the aim of securing a re-election of Mr McCluskey as the incumbent General Secretary.

I vowed during my campaign to bring back democracy to Unite - and I am not finished. It will take some time before we learn if my complaint is upheld but I am confident that based on the evidence that many of you have helped me to gather over the course of the campaign that we will be successful.

I ask for your continued support because if I succeed in this challenge I will be running as a candidate again in the future. If you have evidence of foul play then get in touch.

How you can help me:

I know many hundreds of people have contacted me throughout the campaign because they did not receive a ballot paper - and I am sure there will be many more.

Email me if you:

- Did not receive an invite to your branch meeting which then subsequently nominated Mr McCluskey - but you get other communications from the Union and have done from your branch.

- Was at a nominating branch meeting where Unite officials were in attendance or spoke to members prior to the meeting commencing.

- Did not receive a ballot paper from the Union and you did not email my campaign team to let us know.

- Were contacted via email or text message from Mr McCluskey claiming that your branch nominated him when in fact your branch nominated me.

- Received an illegal Robo-call [an automated voice message] from Mr McCluskey urging you to vote for him.

- Have evidence of Unite officials campaigning between the hours of 9-5 during the week on social media or in person or at official union events.

Contact me if any of the above is true or if you have other information about activity which subverted the democracy of the union.

It will help me if you can provide, copies of correspondence, screenshots or photographs and video evidence of any of the above.

Email me at: info@votegerardcoyne.co.uk

Yours Sincerely,

Gerard Coyne