Friday, 14 December 2018

Support the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain



Cross Post from Maryam Namazie & Sadia Hameed

We wanted to give you an update on the crucial work of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain this past year, thank you for your support and ask for you to continue to help us, including by donating to our crucial work. Every bit helps and no amount is too small. If you are thinking of donating during the holiday period, CEMB is a great secular/non-religious option doing important work without religious conditions, dogma or proselytizing.

Since it is nearing the end of 2018, we would like to tell you some of the highlights of the year that couldn’t have been possible without the support of our donors:

In January, Maryam spoke at the third anniversary event marking the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris and on the importance of mocking religion on French TV.

In February, Sadia went to Australia to speak at the first ever event of ex-Muslims speaking out publicly. She took part in a number of speeches and panel discussions in Sydney and Melbourne and also took part in media interviews. Here is one on Australian TV where she debates a Muslim woman apologist.

On World Hijab Day in February and in the women’s march in London in March, CEMB defended the movement in Iran against compulsory veiling.

In April, Maryam spoke at the 10th anniversary celebration of FEMEN in Paris. They are the topless activists that have worked closely with CEMB in support of apostasy, blasphemy and women’s rights.

On 18 May, CEMB has an “eat-in” in front of several embassies of countries that persecute people for eating during Ramadan. At the Saudi embassy, armed metropolitan police told us we were “offending” staff in the Saudi embassy, to which we exclaimed that their persecution offends us and is a lot more serious than hurt sentiments!

In the same month, Maryam spoke at a seminar at European Parliament on Fundamentalism & Neo-Liberalism in Europe: Their Collusion and Impact on Women’s Rights and Ethnic Minorities Rights. You can see a summary of her speech here.

Maryam also spoke at the Muslimish conference in NYC about ex-Muslims being a “community in protest” (as opposed to community in the regressive sense of identity politics). Here is Maryam’s speech at the conference and the Q&A that followed. Also see a shortened article in sister-hood explaining ex-Muslims as a community in protest.

With the rise of atheism in countries under Islamic rule, we are seeing many more cases of those being persecuted for blasphemy and apostasy. Here is a recent article we have published on the demand for atheism which calls for normalising #AtheismNotACrime. We developed a successful series of publicity materials for it, including for #BlasphemyNotACrime, #ApostasyNotACrime.

On 14 June, CEMB organised a panel discussion on LGBT rights and blasphemy in order to address the accusations of Islamophobia against CEMB at Pride last year. It was co-sponsored by Pride in London, which was important given that Pride was considering barring our presence in 2018. A video of the discussion, including with CEMB Spokespersons Sadia Hameed and Jimmy Bangash and chaired by Gita Sahgal, can be seen here.

In July, CEMB joined Pride in London for the second year (organised by Daniel Fitzgerald). It was a great success for us given that we were not sure if we would be allowed to march officially until a few months before the event. We received tremendous amounts of support. This year we had a much larger group joining us, including a Bangladeshi LGBT group, Boys Love World. A filmmaker Carl Russ-Mohl joined our march and produced a short film on CEMB and Spokespersons Jimmy Bangash. You can see the film here. Spokesperson Imad Iddine Habib explains why “Allah is Gay,” a placard he made first in 2017, which has now been picked up by ex-Muslims from Germany to Canada.

With the International Coalition of Ex-Muslims formed after our 2017 conference (the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history), we read a poem written by Jimmy Bangash in defence of LGBT rights in countries under Islamic rule.

In July, Maryam worked with MEP Teresa Barbat Gimenez to suggest amendments to the European Parliament’s Committees of Foreign Affairs and Human Rights report regarding Freedom of religion and belief.

In August, CEMB organised a Vegetarian Heathen Eid. Bakra Eid is about slaughtering animals in the most brutal manner. Many CEMB members miss Eid and the time with family but don’t want to take part in a religious event or have anything to do with animal sacrifice so CEMB celebrated Eid the heathen way.

In September for International Blasphemy Day, CEMB members tore verses of the Quran that were anti-apostate and anti-women in a public protest action.

The International Ex-Muslim Coalition also did a video accusing “Ayatollah Facebook” of silencing blasphemers by constantly shutting down pages of ex-Muslims and freethinkers. Here is Maryam’s message.

CEMB sponsored Bullet Hole, a powerful production about FGM, at Park Theatre, for black history month. It is a story of hope, love and human rights played by an all-female cast.

In October, Spokespersons Sadia Hameed and Maryam Namazie conducted a training for 11 Malaysian government officials who are involved in the Islamic religious affairs department, including those implementing Sharia in the law, education and government. We showed them the film, Islam’s Non Believers, and had an extended discussion on apostasy and the right to atheism. They argued that atheists go against “their culture” and that the law must be respected. We argued that unjust laws must be challenged and culture is not homogenous. We stressed the importance of secularism and universal values. Discussions were sometimes heated but it was the first time they had met with ex-Muslims and it helped some of them to understand the awful treatment Malaysian atheists face and humanise ex-Muslims. We also linked it to the treatment of women, religious minorities and LGBT, amongst others.

In early November, at the Freedom from Religion Foundation Convention in San Francisco, Maryam awarded Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi’s wife (the Saudi freethinker sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes for “insulting Islam”) with the Henry Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism Award that she won last year.

On 25 November, CEMB sponsored an international Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism, marking the 10th anniversary of our sister campaign One Law for All. The conference was a landmark event. (Organising Committee: Maryam Namazie, Sadia Hameed and Sina Ahadi Pour; MCs: Fariborz Pooya and Nahla Mahmoud).

Some of our events and actions have been covered by media. You can see media coverage here.

In April and October, we held "Coming Out" parties where ex-Muslims received their apostasy certificates. The parties are one way of seeing people's coming out as a cause for celebration rather than vilification and a source of shame.

We also started monthly support groups in addition to monthly meet-ups to allow ex-Muslims to share issues and empower each other. So far, the group has discussed issues like shunning, identity, post-apostasy trauma, family, drug and alcohol abuse, community, why we left Islam and relationships.

Our monthly meet-ups continue to go strong. It is a place where ex-Muslims and their friends can come to listen to a speaker, socialise, have a drink and let off some steam. The events bring speakers dealing with a range of issues including on the ex-Muslim experience through art and evenings with lawyer Ana González on apostasy and asylum, with Hassan Radwan on Islamic reform and Imad Iddine Habib on challenging racism and the far-Right.

In 2018, we also organised swimming lessons, picnics and movie nights and took ex-Muslims to Thorpe Park. You can see all our events and speaking engagements here.

In addition to all our public work, we continue to support around 300 ex-Muslims a month. Our publication, Political and Legal Status of Apostates from Islam, revised and updated last year has become an important document supporting apostasy cases across the globe. One such example is that it has become part of the documentation of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

We have done a huge amount of work for the right to apostasy and blasphemy (see also a timeline of our highlights from 2007-2018) but much more needs to be done. Particularly at a time when fascism, including religious fundamentalisms, is on the rise, we must keep going and defending universal rights for all, freedom of conscience, including for non-believers and secularism.

Go to: www.ex-muslim.org.uk

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

On anti-Semitism and the far left again

Solidarity 489

First up is the newspaper of the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL), Solidarity. Of all the Trotskyist organisations they are the only one's that do more than pay lip service to fighting anti-Semitism, they actually do oppose it.

In the latest edition Omar Rail writes:

I used to think that conspiracy theorists were just silly. I must have made countless jokes about people who think the moon landings were faked, that Prince Philip ordered Diana’s death or that, despite NASA’s protestations, the Earth is in fact flat. But it’s become clear for some time now that conspiracy theories have reached a whole new level of influence. 9/11 was an inside job, Mossad created ISIS, George Soros is controlling the news — this kind of stuff is getting more and more mainstream. ...

So I went with interest to see ‘Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard’s Tale’, a one-man-show written and performed by Marlon Solomon, a Manchester-based actor and performer. Solomon has been performing across the country and at various CLPs and Labour Party events, and his show discusses the content and the appeal of conspiracy theories throughout history.

 Naturally the show focuses on the world’s oldest (and at various times, murderously consequential) conspiracy theory: antisemitism. Solomon makes the show very touching and personal, and discusses his own experiences as both a former conspiracy theorist and as a Jew in Britain who, while for a long time not particularly involved in politics, has recently taken a more active role in tackling antisemitism, including on the left and in the Labour Party. Much of the talk discussed the singly person most synonymous with modern conspiracy theories, David Icke (yes, the lizard guy). 

While I had previously regarded David Icke and his lizard theories as laughable nonsense, I was astounded to find out how much coverage he gets, including on some ostensibly “progressive” platforms, and the fact that he sells out thousand-seater stadiums for his talks. Most shocking of all was how blatant and explicit the antisemitic nature of his “theories” were. Icke’s speeches had simply unending talk of “Rothschild Zionists” controlling the world and fomenting wars.

This is in stark contrast to the view taken by the Labour Party Marxists a barely disguised front for the Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker).




Rather than join a protest against David Ike the LPM/CPGB explain:

Who would have thought that the mad ideas of David Icke would be the thing that forges unity between Jon Lansman’s Momentum, the rightwing Jewish Labour Movement and the ‘centrist’ Open Labour. Together they have attempted to organise joint protests outside the venues hosting Icke’s latest speaking tour. Labour First is supporting the protests too. Maybe Progress was busy when Lansman called.

Earlier this year Lansman, a self-confessed Zionist, raised eyebrows when he attended a conference organised by the JLM. But this joint campaign is clearly going a step further. The JLM is an openly Zionist grouping, affiliated to the World Zionist Organisation and the sister party of the Labor Party of Israel. Its leaders (among them Ella Rose, Louise Ellman, Mike Katz and, until recently, the disgraced Jeremy Newmark) are virulently anti-Corbyn and helped to organise the March 26 ‘Enough is enough’ demonstration outside parliament.


Any excuse to attack "Zionism" and oh look Lansmans Jewish and must be in League with them even though he isn't and is not popular at all in the Jewish community for his actions inhelping create Corbynism that has itself attracted the worst elements of the left including rabid anti-Semites.

It is the Communists who are a threat and their mad ideas of a capitalist conspiracy are also the refuge of fools. They have more in common with Ike than they would even begin to imagine.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Militants squabbling in PCS union continues unabated

Militant.gif

Whilst the rest of the UK is either preparing for Christmas or has ended up bored silly of Brexit, the far-left inside the PCS civil Service Union continue to squabble about control of the union. The Socialist Party or Militant to us oldies has been firmly defeated in it's control of the Left Unity organisation, a front without which they cannot control PCS.

Whilst current Assistant General Secretary Chris Baugh has been painted the pantomime villain, it's really Mark Serwotka's political ambitions that are behind the current internecine warfare. Serwotka wants to orientate to Corbyn's Labour Party and bring PCS in a position to affiliate in the near future. The Socialist Party are a barrier.

Whether relations between the frankly useless Baugh and the over-bloated Serwotka were that bad after all these years is now an irrelevance. The inability of Janice Godrich to continue into the election has resulted in a demand that Chris be re-instated as AGS candidate.

The breakaway Socialist View group issued a statement yesterday:

The attention has understandably turned to what Left Unity will now do following Janice’s withdrawal.

The Socialist Party have unfortunately already demanded that Chris now be allowed to take the LU nomination for AGS.

While the LUNC will need to decide a way forward, Socialist View are clear that supporting a candidate whose methods and strategy have just been defeated, following a lengthy campaign and much debate, would create a significant problem for Left Unity and would be a huge error of judgement.

Chris has played his part in the history of both Left Unity and the union itself, and no one will wish to wipe that from the record, but he has become an increasingly divisive figure, and the policy and record on which he stood in this election has been overwhelmingly rejected by LU members.

It is equally true to say that many of those who supported Chris, adopting the same platform, have also been defeated in these elections. That cannot just be ignored or overlooked.

We urge the new LUNC (Left Unity National Committee) to write and ask Chris Baugh to step aside, in the interests of unifying and strengthening the left, not endorse his nomination as AGS candidate.

It may of course lead to a current Full Time Officer being offered the post. There's plenty of potential bag carriers for the General Secretary amongst that crowd. One leading LU member asks:

Would anyone be surprised if a candidate from the FTO staff were to emerge if Chris B were to stand aside? 

Err no. Meanwhile leading Socialist Party hack Kevin Greenaway makes the Socialist Party's demands quite clear:

There is only one option. Chris is the remaining nominee. The LUNC should accept that and move on. This is the most convoluted and contrived attempt at constructing a position to avoid the truth of the position imaginable. The continued vilification ofChris and others, presenting them as divisive is an irony that persistently evades SV. There is no way Chris should stand down. This is no attempt at creating unity it is the very opposite. SV needs to think again. Mind you, it took long enough to come up with this masterpiece. Then you had to wait until the end for the demand. Anybody would think SV was that embarrassed to put it out that we would barely notice. Reality is of course that the letters are almost certainly written already.

Martin Cavanagh, Socialist View replied in no uncertain terms:

There only ever was for you. You said Janice was wrong to stand originally, now having seen Chris and the strategy he proposed defeated - despite demanding votes be included that wouldn't be in any democratic election - you still say it should be Chris. Your assertion may be based on either genuine belief or out of party loyalty, that's not for me to say, but to pursue it means whoever reads it can take it with a pinch of salt.

And there we have it. The road to there being three candidates is becoming more a possibility by the moment.

Politics is Broken say half the British Public


Photo: By Jun OHWADA

There has never been a time in my living memory that this country has been so divided. Brexit and the rise of Corbynism destroyed it for me and I would imagine most other people. The political classes have never been so divorced from the electorate.

A sign of the times was yesterday's Brexit march organised by UKIP ans somewhat hi-jacked by Tommy Robinson due to the media attention the demo attracted. Plus of course hthe thought of trouble by so-called "anti-fascists" counter demonstrating.

Thing is I knew people on both sides of the barricades. I do not see UKIP as a"fascist" party of any description. The same applies to the For Britain outfit led by Anne Marie Waters. Yes there were a handful of boneheads floating around. They had their equivalents on the counter demonstration who wore mainly black and had masks.

The survey published in The Sunday Times (no link £) showed 48% beleive that politics has broken. Both party leaders get minus ratings May -28%, Corbyn -35%. Faith in the political mainstream is being lost on a major scale.

There has never been a time when new parties could stand a chance to being founded to change the current system. I would support a moderate/mainstream breakaway from the Labour Party but there is is a danger that the extremes could take advantage of the situation.

The far-left have virtual control of the Labour Party and moderate MP's are being targetted and will continue to be a target for the intolerant left. Even the Women's movement has been split by extremists from the Trans-community and those who want to defend women's spaces.

On the right UKIP  and For Britain could fill a gap but the actual fascist Neo-Nazi far-right are too small and isolated to make any gains. Some of them have already turned to terrorism and join the Islamists as being a direct threat to our physical safety.

Meanwhile until Brexit is settled half of us don't care much for the political parties in Parliament. Does anyone mention the Lib Dems any more?

Until a new party comes along there's a lot of disillusioned, disenfranchised and alienated people out there.

That includes me.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Not for snowflakes: The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York

This song has been in the news of late. Some snowflake student got offended by the word faggot in this song. The idiot obviously doesn't realise it's an argument between two people. We all say things in the heat of the moment. So fuck him and the Irish DJ who wanted to censor the song too.

It's a great song and full of the party spirit we need in this winter season no matter what festival you celebrate at this time of year.

So while some twats need to get real let's sing along to one of the greatest Christmas singles of all time.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Militant weeps, comrades sneer and more Trots appear

The Socialist issue 1021

While some of the comrades are gearing up for Sundays ruck with the UKIP pro Brexit march in London on Sunday there's still some paper selling days before Christmas. First up is this weeks Socialist from the remnants of the Militant tendency which is getting smaller every time I dip into their affairs.

One of the most boring papers on the left (General Election Now! Nationalise the top 100 monopolies etc...) the only item of real interest is that they have seriously got the hump that their boy Chris Baugh lost the PCS Assistant General Secretary election especially since his opponent subsequently announced she was withdrawing  from the contest next year due to health problems.

The Socialist Party have lost their major base in the unions, the largest of the civil service unions, the PCS. It was inevitable after the winding up of the mainstream opposition group, 4themembers that splits would happen in the unions big tent. The defection of so many of their leading trade unionists to the Serwotka camp (organised around Socialist View) has devastated their ranks in the union.

The Socialist reports

There was a heated debate because initially the votes of three Left Unity geographical groups, who had all voted for Socialist Party member Chris Baugh in the assistant general secretary election, were going to be ruled outbecause of 'clerical errors'.

This caused a big number of complaints from Left Unity members, in those and other groups.

While conference accepted a proposal from the Left Unity secretary to include the votes of London and Fylde, plus nine of 13 ruled-out postal votes, the votes from the West Midlands - which while known and verified but not received - were still disallowed.

These votes would have meant that Socialist Party member Dave Semple would have retained his Left Unity editor's position.

Socialist Appeal - International Marxist Tendency

The smaller wing of Militant now known as Socialist Appeal put it another way:

Rather than accept the verdict graciously, Socialist Party supporters desperately tried to block the result at the Manchester conference. In a sometimes heated two-and-a-half hour debate, they demanded that all votes be included in the count, whether they had been received or not! The fault, they declared, was not theirs but privatised Royal Mail.

This was despite the fact that the scruitineers had made it clear that even if all the disputed votes had been included it would not have made any difference to the result.

This feeble attempt to get the results overturned was clearly in vain.

Solidarity 488

Meanwhile while the SP are obviously bitter their small but somewhat saner rivals the Alliance for Workers Liberty comment:

A Left Unity conference on 1 December agreed to include the extra votes, but Godrich still won, and Godrich supporters dominated the newly-elected Left Unity committee. Soon after, however, Godrich said that ill-health would prevent her from standing for AGS. 

As we go to press, we do not know whether Left Unity will now back Baugh, or try to nominate a third alternative. 

The political differences between Godrich and Baugh are murky. Mark Serwotka, who has been General Secretary of the PCS since 2000, is not a Socialist Party member, and was elected General Secretary without the support of the SP, but has worked closely with the SP since then: he has backed Godrich against Baugh. The SWP, a relatively small force in the union, has also backed Godrich. 

The AWL will be backing John Maloney from the PCS Independent Left.


Finally it has belatedly come to my attention that another and obviously quite minuscule group of Trotskyist group has entered the Labour Party not that anyone seems to have noticed. This group is the British Section of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency  (RCIT)(formerly known s the League for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International (LRCFI), (They love their long winded names these tiny self important groups).

Their supporters hide behind the name Red Liberation, not very well if you look at their mostly unreadable websites.  They don't like Jeremy Corbyn much though: A statement issued when they wandered into the Labour Party in 2016 is quite clear in their hostility to old Steptoe:

....the Labour leadership clearly shows they are ready to implement the government’s pro-austerity agenda. So much for Corbyn’s much vaunted anti-austerity program. Corbyn will continue to be a hostage of the Blairites until he breaks with them completely!

It is important that MOMENTUM, the campaign organization of left-wing Corbyn supporters, openly criticises the political adaption of the Corbyn leadership group to the Blairites. Furthermore, we demand that MOMENTUM operates in a transparent and democratic way. Hence it is important to have a national conference of MOMENTUMactivists in spring which democratically decides on the policy and elects a leadership.
and previously before they had their "turn":

Corbyn clearly wants to work with the Blairite section of the party now that he has been elected leader and chooses to ignore their pro-capitalist views. He is very close to the trade union bureaucracy and has a neo-Keynesian outlook.


The "International" or cult they belong to is led by Michael Pröbsting of their German Section. He is the International Secretary of the RCIT and appears to write all their books and pamphlets. They no longer seek to "rebuild the Fourth International but are working towards creating a Fifth International no less. Except there already is one organised by the Workers Power now called Red Flag and also buried inside the Labour Party.

Perhaps they should skip to the Sixth International!

If you have no paint to watch dry their websites are here and here.


Thursday, 6 December 2018

The March for Brexit, the Far-Left and Tommy Robinson.















This weekend might not be good for Christmas shopping as demonstrators gear up for action on the streets. The London Evening Standard reports:

Protesters are set to march through central London for a pro-Brexit march organised by Ukip and backed by former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

Several thousand people are expected to descend on the capital's streets on Sunday, December 9 to demand that there is no “betrayal” over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The rally is taking place just three days before parliament’s crucial vote on Theresa May's deal.


Logo of UKIP.svg


Organised by UKIP and backed by Tommy Robinson the organisers say:

This is a cross-party People's Rally to show our MPs that the 17.4 million who voted Leave really meant what we said! We need as many people here as possible.

UKIP Leader Gerard Batten will be speaking on the political aspects of Brexit, and there will be prominent speakers from across society speaking on the various aspects of national life that will continue to be adversely affected by Theresa May's 'Withdrawal Agreement', from farming, fishing, immigration, the military, police, to criminal justice.

There will also be speakers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales explaining how the very Union of the United Kingdom is under threat.

This will be a democratic and peaceful demonstration expressing the strength of feeling amongst Leavers despite the torrent of anti-Brexit propaganda we have been exposed to for almost two and a half years.


Of course the Brexit issue has been the most divisive issue in British politics for years. The arguments have raged both before and after the referendum and has brought together both the far-right and the far-left in tandem against the EU.

Tommy Robinson at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park.png

So theoretically UKIP and Tommy Robinsons supporters should be marching to defend Brexit along side the Communist Party of Britain, the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party (Militant) to name only the larger of the sects.

Then there's Corbyn. He's been against the EU for years as has a great deal of the traditional Labour left. Unfortunately the youngsters in and around him and Momentum are pro-EU. So even the foot soldiers of the new left are divided.

Of course the two extremes would never march together.. The CPB, SP, Militant, Counterfire and the so-called Stop the War Campaign will be protesting behind their various "front" organisations such as Unite Against Fascism & Stand Up to Racism. I'm sure Hope Not Hate will be there too.

Logo of the Communist Party of Britain.svg

The far left will be counter-demonstrating Brexeteers against Brexiteers. Hordes of so-called "anti-fascists" or communists as I prefer to call them wil be shouting Nazi's at the Kippers and friends and a few boneheads will "seig heil" back.

UKIP is not a fascist party although under Gerard Batten are starting to veer further to the right. Tommy Robinson surprisingly joined up with the UKIP leader rather than Anne-Marie Waters For Britain Party. 

For Britain is anti-Islam and pro-Brexit and not fascist either despite the presence of a couple of ex BNP members like Eddy Butler and Jack Buckby. Butler was a campaign manager for Nick Griffin and Buckby was Griffin's protege who spread propaganda at his university about interracial marriage.

Most of the Brexit supporters are likely to be just ordinary folk outraged by what they see as the betrayal. Yes there'll be some hotheads from the real far-right present but the decision by the left to use street tactics against what is just an expression of the "white working class" who feel rightly or wrongly they have been left out is misguided.

In this age of identity politics and political correctness free speech has come under attack which has gone further than the genuine bigotry that exists in society. Everybody wants "their" rights sometimes at the expense of others which is particularly seen in the bullying antics of the trans-men activists against women trying to question and debate the trans agenda.

When Brexit is done and dusted, the sooner the better in this bloggers opinion society needs to start healing itself. I'm not talking mediation type bollocks but just a simple calming down the anger and hate seen in so much debate.

The "new, kinder politics" promised by Corbyn has turned into an uncontrollable monster as his supporters have become.

Everyone has the right to demonstrate. No one has the right to use violence. Whilst both sides have participants that are equally responsible, it is the far-left. the so-called anti-fascists and Anarchists who are the worst culprits. I've seen it myself on many a march ruined by these jerks.

Let's hope Sunday doesn't turn into a riot.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Christmas is a "blasphemy" and "insult" to Islam apparently

This is the hidden face of "Islam".

Literally.

Democracy is unacceptable as the people and the Government decide laws. The whole idea of Christmas is blasphemous and against Sharia.

Sharia means no freedom of or from religion, no freedom of speech or expression. Muslims are superior to all others. Women are inferior to men. Gays must be killed.

She explains why they believe the West is evil, because it is based entirely on Christianity which is against Islam.

The accusations of Islamophobia are false. The fear of Islam is real.




Monday, 3 December 2018

Monday Miscellany

Raelians 45th Anniversary 


Raelian symbol.svg

Chatting on Facebook sometimes leads to a mention of strange things and sects that I hadn't heard of or looked at in years. Just as part of a "passing remark" the Raelians were mentioned. So I went and had a look.

It seems the Raelians who believe that life on Earth was implanted by aliens they call the Elohim.

They "preach" that Moses, Jesus, Buddha & Mohammed amongst others were sent by aliens to help us. OK. Noah's Ark was a spaceship and the great flood was caused by the Elohim who then scattered the Israelites around the globe. Bizarre.

Here's a taste of their thoughts on this auspicious occasion:

Welcome to the 45 anniversary of the first encounter between Maitreya Rael and Yahweh, the president and representative of the extra-terrestrial scientists known as the “Elohim”, when they told him how they made all life on earth, including “man in their image”, thousands of years ago. Together we will celebrate this historic encounter with love, laughter and kindness, because that is the essence of the message that Yahweh gave to Maitreya for humanity.

This meeting 45 years ago was the beginning of the Raelian Movement, a wonderful adventure that we are all part of, and which is catalysing the peaceful transformation of humanity from a primitive warlike group of tribes into the golden age of freedom, love and supraconscioiusness.

This encounter also represents the final chapter of a succession of meetings between the Elohim and the prophets of old, who were their contactees, charged with passing on their message of love, adapted to each epoch.

Finally in this age of science, where we are beginning to experiment with DNA ourselves, we can understand how we were created in laboratory by these expert scientific artists, and how these creators love us like their children and hope to meet us at The Embassy.

So this encounter is both the end of the darkness and the beginning of the new light, the first rays of a new dawn for humanity, and it is right and fitting that it should happen in the land of the rising sun.


Anti-Semitism in Derry

Derry City Council logo.png

The Belfast Telegraph reports:

The homeland of the Jews, the one state in the world that provides the Jewish people with assured sanctuary and is the only real democracy in the Middle East, is singled out as the global Great Satan. And it is that singling-out that is the crucial point.

No other country attracts such opprobrium.

Israel gets it from the right, from the left and from just about anyone who doesn't want to provoke a maelstrom of hate on Twitter.

This week we learn that Steven Jaffe, who is co-chair of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, has been banned from addressing Derry City and Strabane District Council.

So much then for diversity, inclusivity, respecting minorities and 'it's good to talk'.

I know Steven Jaffe well. He's one of my heroes. Steven is fiercely intelligent, passionate about his Belfast Jewish heritage - and has a brilliant, dry sense of humour.

Listening to him, you will not be bored. You may not agree with him. You may not agree, even, with a word he says.

But here's what baffles me: why would any elected representative, supposed to be serving the whole local community, not want at least to listen to what he has to say?

It is enormously brave for any Jew in Ireland to stand up and speak out these days. I think we all accept that. We should also be shocked by that.

Doubtless those elected representatives in our second city who voted down the proposal to listen to Steven are smug in their conviction that they are open-minded, even-handed, liberal thinkers. But their actions suggest something very different.


Atomic Rooster- Tomorrow Night

And finally just for fun is one of my school day favourites from Atomic Rooster. Great Band!




Sunday, 2 December 2018

PCS: Socialist Party routed but Janice Godrich is out!

PCS Left Unity

The infighting over the future of the way PCS is run by the two main strands of the left, The Socialist Party and the Serwotka tendency around Socialist View reached a dramatic end this weekend at the Left Unity AGM.

For weeks Chris Baugh the besieged PCS Assistant General Secretary has been fighting for his political survival following a fallout out with PCS head honcho Mark Serwotka. Several leading members of the Socialist Party split to support Janice Godrich for the AGS post.

Janice was already in trouble with Socialist Party guru Peter Taffe for breaking the party line and canvassing for the Scottish National Party at the General Election. She formed Socialist Voice with Taffes bitter enemies from Tommy Sheridan's now defunct Solidarity.

Accusations were thrown around with John McInally PCS Vice President for years and a major figure in PCS was accused of being "Janice's poodle" by his erstwhile colleagues in the Militant Tendency. Having known John for some years (albeit as an opponent) he's definitely nobodies lick-spittle and a very intelligent man. He's nobodies fool.

Insults aside the Socialist Party got so desperate they even dragged Debbie Darracot from their retired South of France branch to defend the useless Baugh.  Comrade Debbie wrote:

The AGS post is a democratically elected position, but it is also a job. The AGS is paid by PCS. Chris Baugh is not like Janice Godrich, paid by DWP or another employer and on facility time. You are seeking to sack Chris Baugh, let's be clear about that. If Janice loses the election she keeps her job. If Chris loses the election he loses his.

Well actually Baugh could go back to the Land Registry as an ordinary member doing a regular day's graft.

 

The Socialist View slate run by Godrich & Serwotka won all the internal elections. Then at conference we are told:

These election results represent a very important decision for PCS, with Socialist View candidates winning every election, and our position on motions being carried forward in every debate.

Left Unity members should not under-estimate the scale of the majority at the conference, which was approximately 41/19.

Blimey how the mighty have fallen. The SP had an inbuilt majority or at least the largest block vote in previous years. Not that many in attendance either. Just 60 people turned up according to those figures. The control of the largest civil service union has been decided by so few.

The sort of future now in place for the Labour Party under the same people but I digress.

The real shock is this news:

It is with real sadness that it was announced tonight that Janice Godrich, having been elected as Left Unity’s AGS candidate, is no longer well enough to continue.

I'm sorry to hear Janice is ill but it seems that this very public spate may in the end have not got rid of Baugh. Fran Heathcote concludes her announcement:

This matter will be dealt with as a priority by the incoming Left Unity National Committee in order that Left Unity can move forward with the maximum unity.

Has Baugh been handed a lifeline or will Serwotka find himself another preferred candidate.

Watch this space!

Eight Days of Hannukah

Hanuka-Menorah-by-Gil-Dekel-2014.jpg
Photo: Gil Decal www.poeticmind.co.uk

I would like to wish all my readers a Happy Hanukkah. Here's a nice little tune you & the family can sing along to!

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Emmerdale meets Doctor Who!

Six adults outdoors, in funeral clothing
Photo: By Source, Fair use

It's getting close to the holiday season so since it's Saturday night a quick break from politics to bring you a song by Frazer Hines who played Jamie in Doctor Who (With Patrick Troughton) and Joe Sugden on Emmerdale Farm (now just "plain" Emmerdale).

These are two of my favourite TV programmes and this link is just a bit of fun for those of you who like "trivia"!

In the mean time start preparing for Christmas Hanukkah or Winter Solstice!

Here is Frazer singing Who is Doctor Who. It's not that bad........ give it a spin!

Friday, 30 November 2018

A Landmark Conference for Universal Rights and Secularism and against Fascism

One Law for All Logo



The 25 November International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism in London celebrated the 10th anniversary of the founding of the One Law for All campaign in the UK.

The conference was a landmark event in the fight against all forms of fascism and in defence of universal rights and secularism with leading activists in the fight against the far-Right – including religious fundamentalisms of all stripes – from 24 countries and the Diaspora, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Europe, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kurdistan, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Serbia to Sudan, Tunisia and the United States.

In her welcome address, Conference Organiser Maryam Namazie reiterated how women are the first targets of fascist, fundamentalist and other far-Right movements and are leading the opposition to the sustained backlash against women’s rights and secular values – and in many cases continue to win victories in the most adverse circumstances. She stressed the urgency of secularism as a minimum precondition for women’s and minority rights.

Centre for Secular Space Director Gita Sahgal’s opening keynote address emphasised the precious heritage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights noting that Indian and Pakistani women fought for the clause on right to choice in marriage – the foundation for many struggles taking place on family laws and equality in marriage today. Muslims from Pakistan and India also voted for the right to religious freedom, including the freedom to leave religion.

Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif Ul Malook spoke about the Asia Bibi case in his keynote address. As mentioned in a DW report on the conference, Ul Malook spoke of the Pakistani constitution and its secular credentials and his childhood when Christians and Muslims lived peacefully together in Pakistan and how a minority are behind the intolerance seen today. He was given a standing ovation for his courage in defending Asia Bibi and prosecuting Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered Salman Taseer. Ul Malook said he had no regrets.

The Conference passed a resolution in solidarity with Asia Bibi and her lawyer and the Judges who had the courage to strike down her conviction for blasphemy, called for asylum for Asia Bibi, the release of all those imprisoned for blasphemy and an end to blasphemy laws everywhere.

NoSharia

The film 3 Seconds Divorce by Shazia Javed about the struggle against triple talaq in India, had its UK premiere at the conference. On a panel discussion that followed, campaigners gave examples of similar practices in Britain. One Law for All had criticised the ‘theological inquiry’ into sharia law in Britain that the government had established and raised concerns about how the British government has effectively caved into religious lobbies by recommending that marriages may require a religious as well as a civil divorce, giving Islamists the green light to establish community-based ‘zina law.’ Women’s rights campaigner Yasmin Rehman explained this was not the historic practice of Muslim communities in Britain. Rights activist Afsana Lachaux pointed out that while she won a victory in France where a Judge set aside decisions made by a UAE Sharia court regarding custody of her son, the English court accused her of ‘demonising’ Sharia law.

In various other panels on Gender Segregation, the Veil and Women’s Bodily Autonomy and Secularism as a Defence of Women’s and Minority Rights, activists spoke about the far-Right marching against migrants on the one hand and against women’s rights on the other from Russia to Poland to the US and South Asia. Polish feminist Nina Sankari described rise of far-Right militias in Poland; Freedom from Religion Foundation Co-President Anne Laurie Gaylor warned of the takeover of the courts by the religious-Right with grave implications for the future. Italian journalist Cinzia Sciuto argued that universal rights were a better way to ensure migrants’ rights than to entrench multi-cultural practices that left them at the mercy of homogenised communities. Eve Sacks of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance gave examples of extreme isolation and erasure faced by Jewish women in Orthodox communities, where literally all images of women and girls are excised and women are forced to shave their hair and cover with a wig and or a hat. She called for support in the campaign for sex and relationship education to be applied to religious schools.

Staša Zajović reminded the audience that religious revival was on the main tools for an aggressive nationalist politics which caused the genocidal war in former Yugoslavia. The irreligious feminists who worked across the conflict and took care of victims of all backgrounds were called ‘internal enemies’ or ‘witches,’ and faced numerous attacks.

EndRacism_A2Placard

The importance of direct action was reiterated by Inna Shevchenko of Femen who argued that religious patriarchies found women’s bodies ‘sinful, dirty, guilty and always shameful,’ and Ibtissame Betty Lachgar of Morocco, who described living under a monarchy that claimed descent from Muhammed, Islam’s prophet, and turning fountains red to challenge violence against women, organising ‘kiss-ins’ and eating in public during Ramadan. These activities were dangerous and brought legal and other threats.

There was also considerable good news. The Rojava movement which had confronted ISIS and in the middle of war, protected refugees and developed women’s leadership was remembered by Culture Project Founder Houzan Mahmoud who added that secularism alone was not enough, rather a transformation of society was needed. Campaigner Homa Arjomand recalled the successful struggle against the recognition of Sharia courts in Canada and Filmmaker Nadia el Fani reported on the adoption of equal inheritance rights in Tunisia in the face of opposition from the government. The struggle against ‘Triple Talaq’ reflected women’s struggles for equality across the world. The One Law for All campaign also won a number of victories forcing regulators to abide by their responsibilities- see timeline for victories against the Law Society and gender segregation at universities and schools, amongst others.

At the Conference, a short film by Iranian performance artist Atoosa Farahmand in support of White Wednesdays, was followed by a protest action by body painter Victoria Guggenheim in support of the Girls of Revolution Street and against compulsory veiling. Women and men present all raised white hejabs and raised their voices against forced veiling.

Artist Mahshad Afshar also had a solo exhibition to showcase her “Cursed Seal” Photography collection. There was a dance performance by LCP Dance Theatre.

One Law for All gave awards to Afsana Lachaux, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Gita Sahgal, Houzan Mahmoud, Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, Inna Shevchenko, Masih Alinejad, Marieme Helie Lucas, Nadia El Fani, Nina Sankari, Pragna Patel, Staša Zajović and Yasmin Rehman for their immense contributions to the cause of women’s rights and secularism. The awards were sculpted by Sodabeh Gashtasebi and was a likeness of Vida Movahedi who first stood on a plinth on Revolution Street in Iran waving her white hejab on a stick.

In her closing keynote address, Pragna Patel of Southall Black Sisters warned of the rise of fascism all over the world, and recalled Southall Black Sisters stand against blasphemy laws and in defence of Salman Rushdie, nearly 30 years ago. The need to oppose both racism and fundamentalism within a framework of secularism has never been more urgent.

The conference adopted a Ten Point Manifesto for Women and Secularism which recognised that the far-Right, including religious fundamentalisms, was gaining power in both authoritarian and democratic states and that its strength was due to the complicity of governments who see fundamentalists as allies to deliver services, post-conflict ‘stabilisation’ and privatised law. The Manifesto acknowledged that universal rights were won in the struggle for civil rights, liberation and against colonial occupation and called for the promotion of a universalist based approach to human rights, the right to free conscience and expression, abolition of religious-based laws in family, civil and criminal matters, prohibition of gender segregation and compulsory veiling, prohibition of religious laws that violate children’s rights, the need to counter both racist and fundamentalist discourse, and secularism as a basic human right, amongst others.

__________________________________________________________________

The Conference was sponsored by Bread and Roses TV; Center for Inquiry; Centre for Secular Space; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Culture Project; European Network of Migrant Women; Equal Rights Now; Fitnah; Freedom from Religion Foundation; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Southall Black Sisters and Secularism is a Women’s Issue.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Socialist Party lose first stage of PCS Assistant General Secretary Campaign.


Socialist Party logo


The influence of the Socialist Party begins it's final decline as incumbent PCS Assistant General Secretary Chris Baugh failed to win the Left Unity nomination. Janice Godrich as expected won. Only the interim result has been published though as you guessed it the Socialist Party are contesting the result.

The Socialist reports:

..on the AGS election, the interim report indicates 139 votes for Chris Baugh and 167 votes for Janice Godrich. However, Left Unity members are still waiting for the final results. This is because a whole number of votes have been ruled out - some postal ballots and those cast at three voting meetings, including London.

Despite this, the 'interim' results were published. Many Left Unity members are shocked and angry that this was done when there are issues still outstanding. Despite the claims of Janice's supporters in Socialist View, the ruled-out votes could materially affect the results of three key positions: AGS, Left Unity chair and Left Unity editor.

The only way to clarify this is for the full report to be published, with all the results included, along with explanation for those omitted. This is not an attack on the integrity of the scrutineers, as Socialist View claims, but a call for transparency and democratic processes.

Socialist View asks, would it "be acceptable to count votes that fail to comply with laid down, and agreed, Left Unity regulations?" But to us this would be far more preferable than to disenfranchise Left Unity members who through no fault of their own have had their vote discounted.

In at least two of the meetings, we believe that Chris had a majority. The discounted votes at the three meetings could be over 12% of the total vote!



Unsurprisingly those in the Janice/Serwotka camp take a different view and trumpeted their victory! 

The report confirms the result of the ballot for all contested elections, including the Assistant General Secretary and National President. We are pleased that the results show both Janice Godrich and Fran Heathcote have been successful in their attempt to secure the LU nomination for the posts of AGS and President respectively. Alongside Janice and Fran all other nominees, supported by the Socialist View campaign, have also been successful......

Marion Lloyd (SP/LU Chair) has issued a statement (abridged) complaining:

Gordon has published this report despite me raising several concerns and despite the fact that he proposed to the Left Unity national committee that this should be done at a later date. I agree the interim report should be published, even though the Left Unity constitution states that election results are announced at the Left Unity conference by the chair.

Only four members of the 13-strong national committee responded to agree the publication of the results. The report was then published less than two hours after my initial email (on a Sunday afternoon) and without any majority agreement.

This, in my view, is a blatant attempt to brush over genuine issues I have raised, ignore Left Unity democracy and prevent the national committee from discussing and reaching a view. It has gone against the inclusive left spirit that we have tried so hard to foster.

As things stand, the votes of three Left Unity voting meetings - London, West Midlands and Fylde - have been ruled out because of clerical issues. I am totally opposed to Left Unity members being penalised and disenfranchised through no fault of their own.

There have also been 13 postal votes ruled out. I am of the view that these votes, taken together, could have a material effect on some of the results, including for example the positions of AGS, Left Unity Chair and Left Unity editor.

The margin of votes for editor is only seven. Therefore, it would have been correct to wait until we have the additional information I have requested from the scrutineers before publishing.

Socialist View respond:

Unfortunately the statement issued yesterday by the current Left Unity Chair, Marion Lloyd – not addressed to Left Unity members as you might expect legitimate concerns to be raised, but outside of our organisation – does nothing to foster that unity and instead only serves to create further division and suspicion.

The statement claims that “legitimate issues” have been raised by Marion as to why certain votes have been disallowed. The interim report of the two scrutineers, one a member of the Socialist Party, has confirmed they unanimously agreed to disregard a number of votes as they clearly breached the Left Unity election regulations agreed by the LUNC, and which Marion herself was instrumental in drafting. The report also confirms the discounted votes would not “materially affect” the overall result, and yet Marion claims the opposite.

SV conclude:

Left Unity members will be disappointed with this latest development that should be seen by those on the left for what it is; a desperate attempt to cloud the ballot result, by falsely suggesting the election was close, and creating a suspicion of wrongdoing.

Since the Socialist Party appear to be preparing a challenge at the Left Unity AGM on Saturday December 1st it seems the squabble will not end with this election. The possibility of Baugh standing as a candidate against the official Left Unity nominee Janice Godrich.

With a third candidate now in the field from the rival Independent Left it looks increasingly like a three way fight for the coveted post of PCS Assistant General Secreatry or Mark Serwotka's bag carrier as we jest!

Updates at Howie's Corner

I decided to make some more changes to the recommended blogs and websites list on Howie's Corner and perhaps bring them to the attention of you, the reader. 

They are not all political. I decided a long time ago to include non political posts starting with music, then comedy and always do some Christmas Interludes with something different.

First up the new political websites 

In keeping with my idea of looking at writing from left to right within certain perimeters. I sincerely believe that people should read articles from places that they might not normally agree with rather than go to favoured sites just to get one's views "reinforced". The "little grey cells" need challenging!

There will be no Socialist Worker but Shiraz SocialistTendance Coatsey have always been a worthwhile read. There will be no UKIP or For Britain but I have added the blog of former UKIP Councillor Cliff Dixon who is an anti-fascist and produced an excellent report on the recent so-called march against racism. Go to: English Patriot.

More controversially I've also added Geller Report & Jihad Watch which are worth dipping into from time to time but are not everybody's "cup of tea".

Mean while the Trans-wars have seen the addition of Posie Parker as a confirmed "TERF" who campaigns for women's rights to be protected from men self-identifying as women. Her work along with that of others such as Feminist Current should be supported.

Finally I've added a new website Church and State which "challenges religious privilege in public life" which along with The Freethinker exposes some of the nonsense we get from religion. 

Meanwhile I'm now including some non-political links

First up is Radio a favourite Medium of mine. Radio 4 & Radio 4 Extra do some excellent stuff but if you want to find out news about the subject please try out Radio Today

Then there's my two favourite radio stations: Radio Caroline which is on DAB and on-line where there are extra stations including a "flashback" channel playing sixties and seventies singles on-line only.

The other station I'm a big fan of is Planet Rock with shows from the Hairy Bikers and Alice Cooper. Nuff Said!

Sticking with music readers may have noticed I'm a big fan of the Japanese rock scene. With this in mind I recommend this site where you can buy Japanese music in the UK. Have a look at: JPU Records.

Next up is a cookery blog. This one particularly interested me because it's Jewish cuisine with a modern twist. Have fun at Tori Avey!

I also have another blog which I've been a bit tardy in posting on this month but that will soon be rectified. However recent posts include a tribute to the late, great Stan Lee. Please go to: Howie's World of Comics.

And don't forget I have a Facebook page with lot's of public posts about politics and more. Friend or follow me at: Howard Fuller Facebook.

Finally for no reason other than I hadn't played this in years is the Penguin Cafe Orchestra:

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

For Britain Party lurches further right

Logo of Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom.png
Photo: By Source Fair use

The For Britain party which broke away from UKIP after Anne Marie Waters was defeated in the leadership election is preparing for a move onto the European scene. In UK terms it remains a small fringe party which has participated in events with the Democratic Football Lads Alliance and Tommy Robinson.

However Anne Marie Waters has journeyed to Brussels to a meeting of the  Movement For A Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENL) organised for her by Janice Atkinson a former MEP for UKIP who now sits as an independent in the European Parliament. Atkinson was expelled by UKIP for "bringing the party into disrepute" after an expenses scandal.

Logo Rassemblement National.svg  Logo of Freedom Party of Austria.svg

The MENL brings together far-right organisations such as the Freedom Party of Austria founded by a former SS Officer and National Rally formerly know as the National Front led by Marie Le Pen in France.  Other smaller groups include: Vaalams Belang (Belgium) New Right (Greece) and Lega Nord (Italy).

Their website (www.menleuropa.eu) states they stand for:

Respect of the principle of Democracy:


The movement and the individual members of the political movement base their political project in conformity with the democratic principles and the charter of fundamental rights and therefore reject any past or present affiliation, connection or sympathy to any authoritarian or totalitarian project.

Sovereignty

MENF is convinced that the sovereignty of states and peoples, relying on the cooperation between nations, and therefore reject any policy designed to create a supra-state or supra-national model. The opposition to any transfer of national sovereignty to supranational bodies and/or European institutions is one of the fundamental principles uniting members of the MENF.

Identity
The parties and individual MEPs of the MENF base their political alliance on the preservation of the identity of the peoples and nations of Europe, in accordance with the specific characteristics of each people. The right to control and regulate immigration is thus a fundamental principle shared by the members of the MENF.


The populist agenda is quite clear and much of what they say they stand for sounds highly plausible to much of the electorate after years of seemingly corrupt politicians on an EU gravy train (listening Mrs Atkinson?) and high immigration. The latter being a concern never properly addressed by the left in particular let alone the establishment.

The mass immigration of "Muslims" from the Middle East coming to something like a million newcomers was a shock to German society which resulted in the growth of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) rocketing in both the polls and elections.

Alternative-fuer-Deutschland-Logo-2013.svg

The Afd currently have 92 MP's in the 709 seat Bundestag. They however belong to a rival right wing federation, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) which ironically also contains UKIP which makes Nigel Farage's complaints about Tommy Robinson fade into obscurity in this far-right group.

Of course For Britain have no MP's and only one local councillor as far as I am aware but obviously hope that their membership of the MENL will give it some international standing and improve their profile in the UK.

Sadly their leader Anne Marie Waters used to be in the Labour Party but left after being persecuted by the far-left, but she has seemingly now completed a journey to the far-right despite not being a fascist or racist herself. For Britain was promoted as neither "left or right" but chumming up with the Austrian FPO and French RN (FN) would suggest differently.

Membership of the group remains to be formally confirmed but is likely to be agreed .

Alan Sked founder of UKIP to launch new party

Alan Sked in conversation with Shayan Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn.png
Photo: By The Sewell-Hohler Syndicate

It seems the decision  of the new UKIP leader Gerard Batten to employ the controversial figure Tommy Robinson has caused not just a handful of UKIP MEP's to quit and bring Nigel Farage back (again) to act as the "white Knight" to try and sane UKIP.

Normally I wouldn't read much of the news about Brexit (bored with it to be frank) but glanced at a letter in The Daily Telegraph and noticed it was from the founder of UKIP, Professor Alan Sked who wrote:

As the founder of UKIP, I can now only conclude that the party has lost it's way and should now dissolve itself.

His reasoning  being that Gerard Batten is "obsessed" with Islam which he condemns as a "death cult" and is joining up with the forces of the far right (that is Tommy Robinson).

Certainly Batten has been seen on marches organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance  (DFLA) which may attract the far right but isn't itself a fascist formation but more the creation of a backlash by the white working class who feel alienated by the current political establishment.

However Nigel Farage attract's the professors ire as he points out:

... is hardly in a position to criticise him. He (Farage) wanted to run former National Front candidates as UKIP ones in the 1979 general election (a request which as party leader I rejected)...

Professor Sked concludes by informing us that he is in the process of forming a "Democratic, non-racist" Brexit party.

Another one to add to the growing list of minor parties springing up all over the place.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Rabbi's Protest About "Jewish Voice for Labour"

Jewish Voice for Labour.jpg
Image: By Source, Fair use,

The following letter has been sent to Enfield and Southgate Labour Party following their decision to invite Roland Rance of the so-called "Jewish Voice for Labour" group who try to pretend anti-Semitism doesn't exist in the Labour Party. Further they even try to pretend it doesn't exist in outside society.

18 Kislev 5779

26 November 2018

To the attention of Valerie Lestrade – chairperson and Thushara Dassanayake - Secretary
Enfield Southgate Constituency Labour Party


Dear Ms Lestrade & Ms Dassanayake

We understand that the Enfield Southgate CLP has invited Roland Rance, a member of the Jewish Voices for Labour Group(JVL) to speak to you about anti-semitism in the Labour Party at the next CLP meeting under the inappropriate title of “Political Education”.

However, as leaders and representatives of the local Jewish community, we wanted to express our deep concern and anger at your decision to provide a platform to JVL to speak about an issue of major concern of the Jewish community in our constituency and beyond.

JVL are not in any way a representative body of the Jewish community or its opinions. They are out of touch with the vast majority of the Jewish community and they lack real understanding of the feelings and concerns of the community. They represent the view of a very small number of Jewish Labour supporters and an even smaller number of Jewish voters. We cannot emphasise the level of pain this causes to the vast majority of the Jewish community.

JVL have been consistent in their claim that there is little or no anti-semitism within the Labour party. Most of our community are concerned about Anti-Semitism, know that it is increasing, and, at times, have experienced this at first hand, and so find such claims insulting at the very least.

As you are fully aware, one of our synagogues used to host your monthly meetings. Furthermore, a number of members from our community are members of the Labour Party and have brought this matter to us. Others used to be members and are equally concerned. Some of our former members are often well known to you. Jeff Rodin (of blessed memory) was not just the leader of the Labour Council, but also a former Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (then known as Poale Zion). Some of our members were once councillors and have played their role in local civic affairs. Labour Party branch meetings are held in Ruth Winston Fox House, so named after a leading figure of blessed memory, another of our former members. In addition, one of our current members, Daniel Andersonn, is the present Deputy Leader of the Labour Council.

Mark Gardner from the Community Security Trust, a body which fights antisemitism and provides security to our community, writes: “I’m always more disturbed when this happens in an area with a sizeable Jewish community, where the CLP actually knows, it really really knows, that the fears expressed by the local Jewish community are held with the utmost genuine sincerity. In such contexts, I take their contrasting actions re JVL and JLM, as a very deliberate two fingers to their local Jewish community, to their (literally) Jewish neighbours & I take JVL to be enabling and koshering a fundamentally hateful attitude towards those Jews. (And don’t forget that it is a local Jewish community whom the CLP exists to “represent” in Parliament.) I think it essentially amounts to institutional antisemitism, perpetrated by the CLP (I repeat, because it knows, it really really knows it’s local Jews, it’s Jewish neighbours) and it is excitedly facilitated, yet again, by the moral and political disgrace that is JVL.”

We urge you to cancel your engagement with the JVL forthwith. We understand that the Labour Party has an affiliated body the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) which has grassroots support within the Jewish community. We are aware that the JLM offer guidance and training on the subject of antisemitism within the Labour movement who have undertaken training within the Edmonton Constituency Labour Party and we therefore urge you to invite them to present to the Enfield Southgate CLP.

Sincerely yours,

Rabbi Daniel Epstein (Cockfosters & North Southgate United)

Rabbi Yuval Keren (Southgate Progressive)

Monday, 26 November 2018

Pakistani Ex-Muslim Atheist: I left Islam because it's misogynistic

Qu'ran 4:34: Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand
It's not often I would think of posting a fairly long video (21 minutes) but I was impressed by this woman's exposition of how she became an atheist coming from a country like Pakistan. Seeking her rights as a woman led her to reject Islam.

And this video conveys a warning. Saudi Arabia is spreading it's vicious Wahhabian form of Islam. This more than anything is a threat to the future of the world.


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Pakistan to launch initiative to stop "defamation" of "religions".




For a long time the Islamic countries of the world have been pushing for "blasphemy" to be recognised as a crime world-wide which has been a complete failure.  Blasphemy can lead to imprisonment, flogging and even the death penalty in most of these Islamic states.

Besides the obvious threat to freedom of speech & expression these laws are used to suppress non--Muslims. The most obvious places are Saudi Arabia, Iran and of course Pakistan.

The recent outrage over the Asia Bibi case where a Christian woman spent years in death row in jail after false accusations from her co-workers in a field was finally found innocent but still the savage mobs called for her death. should serve as a warning.

The Express Tribune reports:

Pakistan informed the United Nations (UN) on Thursday of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative for an international campaign against defamation of religions.

Speaking at the Eighth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilization, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said the premier had made a major announcement to counter Islamophobia and incitement to hatred being witnessed in some parts of the world.

“Hate narratives are spreading in several parts of the world; Islamophobia is on the rise and diversity is being seen not as a source of enrichment but as a threat, and politics of fear seem to be replacing politics of hope,” she asserted.

A bit rich coming from a country that can't even control the hate on the streets led by the extremist Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) who have according to reports been going house to house looking for Asia thereby intimidating Pakistan's Christian minority.

The Pakistani government has even given in to the TLP's demand that Asia and her family cannot leave the country thereby leaving her at risk despite the arrest of the Khadim Hussain Rizv leader of the TLP and a couple of hundred of his party workers in what they say is an "unrelated matter" yeah right.

One question that should be asked of Pakistan is should the Sultan of Brunei be prosecuted under such a law for banning "public displays" of Christ,as celebration? Of course not this initiative is designed to just put pressure on opposition to Islam in the West whilst with few exceptions the Islamic countries continue to persecute and suppress their own religious minorities.

Her statement that:

She also stressed the importance of countering Islamophobia and incitement to violence and hatred that is being witnessed in some parts of the western world by the negative depiction of Muslims.

She kidding? Pictures of mobs calling for Asia Bibi's death or the death of cartoonists make the case against Islam for themselves. Islam is an intolerant and aggressive theology that does not allow for dissent. It is as far from being a "religion of peace" as possible.

Sharia Law (made up by men) is barbaric and unjust. It considers women as "half a man and makes them subservient to men, demands death to gays and apostates and special taxes for the unclean non-believers like Christians and Jews.

Maleeha Lodhi wen on to say:

“Together we need to encourage states to take steps to create an environment of religious tolerance, inclusiveness and respect”

Like your country does let alone the rest of the Islamic world. It is Islam in it's fundamentalist forms from Saudi Arabia with it's hateful Wahhabian philosophy, the Clerics of Iran and Pakistan are the  actual threats to religious freedom and respect. 

There are over one million Christians in Saudi Arabia but none allowed to build a church. The Saudi government even tries to ignore their existence. Churches are attacked and blown up in Pakistan and even Egypt whener Coiptic Christians are second class citizens whose daughters are often kidnapped by Muslims and forcibly married and converted to Islam.

I could continue to list the crimes of hate that occur daily in the Muslim world. They are ignored by the left and liberal establishment, even by sections of the women's movement which is why they have religious bigots like Linda Sansour lin leading positions.

Islam is a complete anathema to freedom. 

Comedy Interlude: Dinner for One - Freddie Frinton & May Warden

Apparentely this sketch Dinner for One by Freddie Frinton, a Music Hall star holds the record for the number of times it has been repeated in Germany, Denmark and several other countries across Europe. But never here.

Not having heard of it I tracked it down on You Tube where there are more than one version of this short programme.

This is the original version made in 1963 and will save you the trip to the Scottish Slapstick Film Festival where they are going to show it for the first time in the UK as part of a double bill with The Marx Brothers Duck Soup. You're welcome.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Reading across the spectrum

The Salisbury Review


As readers will know by now I do read a lot of the left-wing press to see what they are up to. In part this is out of sheer academic interest as a veteran "Trot Spotter" and also because it is necessary to keep an eye on their activities.

I spent four decades in the trade unions first as a part of the far left and ended up an opponent in the second half of my sojourn. Reading their publications, magazines and books has always been a part of my life as has looking at literature from elsewhere.

Over the weekend I will be consuming two quite different political tracts. The first which arrived in the post yesterday is The Salisbury Review, a magazine of conservative thought as it describes itself. I've already dipped in and find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with some of the contents.

This shows me that I have grown more "conservative" over the years, certainly far from the left-wing idealist I once was many years ago. I think this is a natural trend as most of my peers have gone the same way. There are one or two "oldies" that stick at it but on the whole people are no longer interested in revolution or conflict and just want fair play and a little more fairness in society.

Which will be at the back of my mind when I read Paul Flewers latest essay in Critique which is an analysis of Issac Deutcher's three Volume biography of Leon Trotsky. I trust Paul's fairness in doing so not just because he's a mate of mine but also Paul does like to get things "right and always has something interesting to say.

Too many people have a habit of only reading stuff they know they are going to agree with. I come across a lot of closed minds on Facebook. So if you fancy tucking into something completely different here's links to the websites of the two publications mentioned in my article.

Go to: www.salisburyreview.com and/or www.tandfonline.com

And Finally: I was a great fan of Cat Stevens back in the seventies so here to start your weekend is a song oldies like me will recall and hopefully appeal to the younger generation.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

New Political Parties on the Block Led by Women

A lot of people have been calling for the formation of a new political party to replace the now corrupted Corbyn led Labour Party. At the moment it is just wishful thinking even if there are probably thousands of potential new members, most of them ex or current Labour Party members or those like me who do not belong to anything.

However such a project is fraught with difficulties. It would have to be predicated on the mass defection of the majority of Labour MP's. I know there are potential donors out there some who have already made offers of sponsorship should this ever happen.

Politically it would be difficult. With the first past the post electoral system the new party would have difficulty in establishing itself, Further until Brexit is finally pushed through one way or another it would also have difficulties arising from the toxicity of that issue as most of the core MP's and members would be remainers of one sort or another.

However others are not so daunted and I was bemused to see an invitation appear as a "sponsored post" inviting us to a meeting of the Federalist Party. Never heard of them either. But there are a couple of quite serious contenders on the block, well they take their projects seriously.

Women's Equality

There is already the Women's Equality Party which has had some publicity and is led by amongst others Sandi Toksvig. It is not making much headway and men can join by the way:

Equality for women isn’t a women’s issue. When women fulfil their potential, everyone benefits. Equality means better politics, a more vibrant economy, a workforce that draws on the talents of the whole population and a society at ease with itself.

The Women’s Equality Party is working towards such a society. WE are pushing for equal representation in politics, business, industry and throughout working life. WE expect equal pay for equal work and will look for ways to tackle the existing imbalances that leave many women, such as those who are unpaid caregivers or in low paid jobs, especially vulnerable. WE are pressing for equal parenting and caregiving enabling everyone to share opportunity and responsibility in the workplace and at home. WE urge an education system that creates opportunities for all children and an understanding of why this matters. WE aim to address the ways in which the portrayal of women in the media impedes progress towards equality. WE seek an end to violence against women and recognise physical and sexual violence as a public health problem.

WE are proud to focus on equality for women and also understand that there are many forms of inequality. WE will ensure our party and policies are informed by the views and experiences of those doubly or trebly disadvantaged, by their gender and by other factors such as ethnicity, age or disability.


The Women's Equality Party is contesting elections.

The WEP can be found here: www.womensequality.org.uk


Renew Party


There are a couple of others that caught my attention. First up is the Renew Party which is having it's founding conference in Westminster Hall this weekend. Led by an ex-Liberal Democrat, Annabele Mullin (who made a previous effort with a small group called Advance.
















Renew state that:

Renew was launched in February 2018 after 7 months of preparation by a core team which includes two people who stood as Independent candidates in the 2017 Election. We are now led by an advisory board of 12, to include a leader, a deputy leader, Chairman and Chief Executive.

We all share a vision of British politics as open, trustworthy and inclusive as opposed to how it is now, closed, untrustworthy and divisive; we are a fully registered political party of the centre, recruiting candidates and supporters from all backgrounds,regions, ethnicities, religions, we are against prejudice of any kind and wish to represent the decent and fair minded majority of the British people.


I'm not entirely sure how that separates them from the Liberal Democrats but they say they are anti-Brexit (again...), are keen on green energy and believe:

We believe that any person with the right determination, the right coaching and chance can achieve anything.

They claim to have 1,000 "candidates" and 4000 supporters who will presumably become members when the party is formally established this weekend.

The Renew Party website can be found here: www.renewparty.org.uk

I've signed up for their e-mail newsletter and will see what they get up to. However I'd rather those bloody Labour moderates would pull their fingers out.

Image result for for britain


Lastly is a controversial group, the For Britain Party led by Anne Marie Waters. I recently reviewed her book which had to be published in the USA because British companies would't touch it because it's anti-Islam as a theology. (see here) I've corresponded with Anne Marie Enough to know she is not a racist and an ex-Muslim did speak at their recent conference.













This group gets picketed and harassed by the anti-fascist brigade usually made of up of communists and anarchists who are extremists themselves. I do not consider Anne Marie herself as "extremist" and agree with her critiques of Islam. Like her I do not discriminate against Muslims but have a secular agenda. 

The For Britain main statement of intent:

The For Britain Movement is a positive, pro-British, pro-democracy party, which believes in preserving the culture and values of the decent British majority, and passing these on to future generations.

We believe in the democratic mandate of the people, and therefore demand the UK’s complete withdrawal from the European Union without further delay.

We believe in truth, justice, and freedom. We seek to create a Britain where the rule of law is upheld, and justice prevails over political convenience.

We will restore freedom of speech as the backbone of the democratic system.

We sit neither on the Left nor the Right, we are the decent, fair, common sense majority whose voice has been ignored for too long.



Where their politics becomes problematic for some is Anne Marie's association with people like Tommy Robinson and the controversy over the Democratic Football Lads Alliance. Whilst no fan of Robinson I think it is a mistake to label white working class groups as automatically being "racist". Yes the DFLA will inevitably attract infiltrators from the far right. Dialogue needs to take place including actually listening to what of their ordinary supporters have to say.

As a result despite For Britain and Anne Marie's protestations most observers place them on the far right. They are a breakaway from UKIP which was certainly right-wing.  I backed Anne Marie when she was in the Labour Party and thought she was treated unfairly by the Islamophile left.

For Britain's website can be found here: www.forbritain.uk