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.


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.


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 ( 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.


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.

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.


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: and/or

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:

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:

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:

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Church of the Cosmic Skull

A bit late tonight as I haven't been feeling too well but normal service will be resumed shortly.

In the mean time here's a nice little number from the one true church!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Unite to Blackmail Labour Candidates?

Unite logo

A disturbing call for action against MP's who do not support the Corbynite hard left line was made by the Assistant General Secretary of Unite at a conference organised by the remnants of the Militant Tendency now known as the Socialist Party.

The Birmingham Mail reports:

Howard Beckett, the assistant general secretary of Unite, has warned his union will not support Labour elections candidates if they "act like a Tory".

Instead, he said: "If you act like a Tory, Unite in the West Midlands will treat you like a Tory."

Mr Beckett told the Socialist Party event that "our responsibility" is to "call on Labour councils to act as socialists," according to the report on the Socialist Party website .

He said: "It's no good for them to act as complicit agents of the treasury, no good for them to hide behind budgets.

"I will say clearly to all in the West Midlands who claim to be Labour but talk like Tories: if you act like a Tory, Unite in the West Midlands will treat you like a Tory.

"If justice and socialism is not the drive for Birmingham councillors to behave as Labour, then perhaps next May's city council elections will be.

"Because Unite in Birmingham will not support any Tory, even those who are labelled Labour."

Of course when contacted Unite responded by saying "Unite supports all Labour councils and candidates without exception.", but how far can they be trusted with one of main leaders publicly stating the opposite?

Purges are on the way, that is for certain.

Fight Back! Boycott Airbnb!

In a monumental act of hypocrisy and amid accusations of anti-Semitism, AirBnB has boycotted Jewish properties on the West Bank. It has no problem in utilising properties in Turkish occupied Cyprus, Russian occupied Crimea, Moroccan Occupied Sahara or Tibet.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre reports:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO is urging its 400,000 constituent members and Jews the world over to boycott Airbnb after its CEO announced it will no longer allow its services to be used by Jewish residents on the West Bank.

“This is double standard anti-Semitism pure and simple. Nowhere else on the planet has Airbnb stopped making its service available in disputed territories, except Judea and Samaria,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Founder and Dean and Associate Dean and Director, Global Social Action Agenda.

“To be clear, no Israeli leader, left, right, or center, would ever return to the indefensible ‘Auschwitz borders,’ a term coined by the founder of Israel’s peace movement, the late Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban,” they added.

"We take note that Airbnb has no problem doing business in the territory of the Palestinian Authority, which names schools and shopping centers in honor of mass murderers who have killed innocent civilians and have a ‘pay to slay’ policy when it comes to killing Jews.

“We don’t expect Airbnb to be geo-political experts, but today’s draconian and unjust move, which only empowers extremists and terrorists, merits only one response—taking our community’s business elsewhere," the Rabbis concluded.

For more information, please contact the Center's Communications Department, 310-553-9036. join the Center on Facebook,, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Why so Afraid of Secularism?

A message from Maryam Namazie

The Inclusive Mosque Initiative is organising “Beyond the Promise of Secularism” in response to our 25 November International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism.

Their event will apparently explore what they say are “western preoccupations with ‘Sharia Law’, Hijabs, and segregation” and “look at the ways Islam is pitted against ‘secularism’ in the name of women’s rights, equality and democracy, and … utilised and weaponised by the State against Muslim communities and other minorities to promote nationalist narratives.”

Given the Inclusive Mosque’s confusions, I hope our conference and its 38 speakers from 24 countries and the Diaspora, may assist them in understanding what secularism is before they venture “beyond secularism.” Leading activists in the fight against the far-Right - including religious fundamentalism of all stripes - from Algeria, Bangladesh, Europe, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kurdistan, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Serbia to Sudan, Tunisia and the United States - will reiterate the importance of secularism and universal values for women’s rights.

We can only hope that our conference will enable Inclusive Mosque to finally grasp that secularism is merely a framework that separates religion from the state to ensure that religion cannot influence the state and public policy and impose itself on private lives. After all, not everyone in a given society is a believer and even if they are, they don’t usually want the state to tell them how to believe. And what about the persecuted atheists and agnostics, like ex-Muslims, or minorities like the Christian Asia Bibi in Pakistan or Bahais’ in Iran or LGBT in Somalia and UAE? 

One Law for All Logo

Only a secular framework can ensure the equal rights of all citizens before the law and not different rights for different categories of communalised groups. It is only a secular framework that can ensure one law for all via changeable laws made by people versus unchangeable ‘divine’ laws imposed by clerics. It is a secular framework which can allow for multi-ethnic, multi-religious and plural societies and is a minimum precondition for the rights of women and minorities. It is a secular framework that can ensure freedom of conscience, including freedom of and from religion. Which is why there is no “Inclusive” Mosque – let alone a Council of Ex-Muslims - in places like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Iran.

Of course, Inclusive Mosque claims it is “not interested in taking sides on whether one should or should not be ‘secular’” and is merely addressing secularism’s apparent “mobilisation” for “violence” and “power.” In light of the fact that religion in power has set the world on fire, targeting, murdering, disappearing, terrorising and silencing women, secularists and dissidents, the Inclusive Mosque’s anti-secular stance further targets dissenters and conveniently ignores how Sharia, the hijab and segregation are key pillars of the Islamist project to manage and control women. Convenient, of course, since Inclusive Mosque is in the business of opposing secularism and selling Islamic ‘feminism’ – a hard sell given that the women’s liberation movement has always been a struggle, in particular, against religion’s control of women and her body. The promotion of Islamic ‘feminism’ in the era of religious fundamentalisms is a defence not of women’s rights but of religion and the far-Right. 

In fact, Inclusive Mosque’s position is in line with State policy that appeases religious fundamentalism at the expense of women’s rights and the nationalist narrative that promotes a clash of Islamic versus Christian ‘civilisations,’ cultural relativism and an identity politics of superiority and difference (two sides of the same double-edged sword). Even their branding of secularists as “western” is no different to what Islamists have been saying for years. Since ‘Inclusive’ Mosque seems to pride itself on ‘inclusivity,’ though, we hope the conference will at the very least be a much-needed reminder that there are countless individuals from Muslim backgrounds who are secular, including believers, agnostics and atheists. Labelling secular activists, “western,” feeds into the Islamist narrative, negates history and erases the long and ongoing struggle of women in Muslim-majority countries and the Diaspora for citizenship rights and equality before the law, irrespective of background and beliefs.

In the age of religious fundamentalism, whether Islamism, Hidutva, the Buddhist-, Christian- or Jewish-Rights, the insistence on and defence of religion in women’s lives is no defence of women at all. It is rather an insistence on secularism, universal values and our common humanity that is the urgent need of our era, particularly for those living under the boots of the theocrats.

Maybe if Inclusive Mosque spent more time defending women’s rights rather than acting as an Islamist echo chamber, it would begin to comprehend this historical task and necessity. One can only hope, though I for one will not be holding my breath.

For more information on the International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism, visit


Mungo Jerry on a Monday

I don't often read the Money section of the Sunday Times but noticed that there was an interview with Ray Dorset the Mungo Jerry front-man. This was a band I recall from the early seventies and In The Summertime was their biggest hit.

Being more sensible than a lot of his peers Ray soon realised he was living above his means and decided to be sensible with his income which derives from this song in particular (plus the rest of his back catalogue) which besides being at Number One in 1970 for seven weeks was also a hit all over Europe and sold millions of copies.

The band had another number one with Baby Jump and a hit with Alright Alright Alight which I particularly liked. The days of the 45rpm single are sadly gone though vinyl is making a limited comeback.

The song took just 10 minutes to write! Ray still performs at the grand age of 72. Good luck to him I say.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Brexit Free Sunday Supplement at Howie's Corner

Atlantis Found.....Again?

With people a little distracted by the issue I'm not going to mention today this little news story got missed. It's one of those "World of the Weird" moments but always of interest.
"For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, .....and it was possible for travelers of that time to cross from it (from Atlantis) to the other islands and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses the veritable (Atlantic) ocean ..." – Plato
Ancient Origins reports:

Scientists at Merlin Burrows are celebrating having discovered the most important archaeological finding of all time, exactly where Plato said it was, “in front of “the pillars of Heracles.” According to a report in The Daily Mail , Atlantis, is located “north of the city of Cadiz, Andalucía, centered around the Doñana National Park,” which the Merlin Burrows historians “believe was once a vast inland sea.”

Even though a Live Science feature in February applied clear scientific logic to establish that “Plato’s lost city of Atlantis was never lost; it is where it always was: in Plato's books,” using satellite investigation techniques, aerial photography and ground observations, the Merlin Burrows experts believe they have “found all the features of Atlantis Plato described“ and that “that south and north of the park there is further evidence of the ancient civilization, with 15 other settlements dotted along the coastline.” What is more, they have found evidence that the city was destroyed by a tsunami, again, just like Plato said happened to Atlantis.

You never know though. Aquaman was unavailable for comment.

Militant Tendency Oppose Irish Flag being Dublin 

Socialist Party (Ireland)

There are times when what people say beggars belief as in the case of Matthew Waine a member of the Socialist Party in Ireland, an international offshoot of Britain's Militant Tendency.

The Dublin Gazette reports:

A FINGAL councillor has warned against flying the Irish flag outside County Hall for fear of offending non-nationals living here.

Blanchardstown-based Cllr Matthew Waine opposed a motion proposed by Cllr Daire Ni Laoi (SF) to hoist the Tricolour at the council’s HQ in Swords.

The Solidarity Party public representative was one of just two who voted against it, suggesting that the red flag of Marxism and Socialism should be flown instead.

He said: “We have one of the most multi-cultural populations in the whole country living in Fingal, and I think we need to consider the sensitivity of this.

The capital of a country being advised by some lefty idiot that the town hall can't fly their own country's flag. Now that's what I call cultural appropriation. Celebrating everyone's culture but your own. Prat.

Oh and here he is courtesy of You Tube.

And finally..

A nice little tune from the seventies to brighten the mood.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

New Hate Twitter Feed launched

Zionist Terror Watch

As the far-left and the "useful fools" as Lenin would have called them have their so-called anti-racist march today it's come to my attention that some anti-Semites Zionists have launched a new feed to expose "Zionist terrorists".

Very much in the tradition of the neo-Nazi "Redwatch" site targetting leftist activists the "PDAPTAF, the Permanent Database of Anti-Palestinian Terrorists, Activists and Financers 
(sic) has been lauched on Twitter.
Zionist Terror Watch
"PDAPTAF is going public. We will tweet excerpts from our extensive database of anti-Palestinian terrorists, activists and financers. Zionists beware. We are watching. 
4:22 PM - 13 Nov 2018"
This group state " Our extensive records are kept offline. We are watching." and have already targeted bloggers, journalists and an ex-British Army Officer in their conspiratorial rantings. The fact that they are keeping a watch on financiers (though they can't spell the word) shows that they have a World Zionist Conspiracy outlook.

Of course "anti-Zionism" which has morphed into a new form of racism and adopted by the far left over the years is propagated by many of the organisations supposedly marching "against racism". The March organised by far-left groups such as Stand up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism are nothing more than fronts for the Socialist Workers Party one of the groups most responsible for the rise of anti-Semitism/Zionism along with the totally misnamed Stop the War Campaign who have their own contingent taoday.

The site has currently just 11 followers but no doubt will attract the attention of all the loons on the far-left and no doubt the far-right with whom they share their hate of the "World Zionist Conspiracy.

There is no longer even a paper thin difference between the two extremes when it comes to Jews.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The Toxicity of British Politics

The antics of politicians over the last couple of days beggars belief at time. It brings to mind John Majors famous description of the Euro-sceptics in his cabinet as "bastards". Poor old Theresa May has got several more each with the proverbial knife hidden in their togas.

Her "allies" in the DUP have turned out to be "fair-weather friends" though they are getting pressure from  farmers in Ulster to accept the deal. In fact there's quite a lot of business support for the deal, but hey we've had our money.

Labour aren't much better. In fact listening to Corbyn I'm not entirely sure exactly what they want our of Brexit. Most Labour MPs are remainers but represent lots of constituencies that voted to leave the EU. Corbyn is anti-EU, but all these young people he attracted are pro-EU but they don't appear to have noticed that St Jeremy is not what he seems.

Boris is waiting in the wings to take May's crown but polls suggest less people trust him to negotiate Brexit than Jeremy Corbyn which given Corbyn has never negotiated anything in his life should be a real worry for the untidy minded one.

As for alternatives no one seems to have one except we could just leave or maybe remain or maybe have a second referendum or a general Election. The options are seemingly endless given how divided not only our politicians a re but also the country, though opinion polls suggest staying has a majority.

What do we do next? Fuck knows...

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Brexit Interlude - Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend

Fed up of Brexit, then giver yer ears a treat with this from Italian metal band POWERWOLF!

Always thought it wuz diamonds but never mind......

Taken from the album Sacrament of Sin!

PCS AGS Election: New Candidate Enters the Ring

As the in-fighting within the ruling Left Unity body continues unabated a third candidate has thrown his hat in the ring from a rival far-left camp the PCS Independent Left. This small group includes supporters and members of the Alliance for Workers Liberty, Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker) and Red Flag/Workers Power. Alongside some independent left-leaning socialists one or two anarchist types seemed to have integrated into the group.

Whilst there has been no announcement as yet on the Independent Left's own website, the AWL's newspaper announces:

The leadership faction in the PCS civil service union, “PCS Left Unity”, are in a civil war over whose turn it is to stand for Assistant General Secretary when it comes up for election in 2019 (nominations open 17 January, balloting 16 April to 9 May).

Rogue SP member and current lay President of the union Janice Godrich is challenging incumbent SP loyalist Chris Baugh for the nomination. LU holds its final meeting to decide its nomination later in November. Whether the loser will accept the result and not stand against the LU nominee remains to be seen.

Currently we don’t believe there will be a challenge from the right-wing. PCS Independent Left will be nominating John Moloney for the election.

If the loser of the internal Left Unity  election decides to enter the election regardless PCS members will be faced with the prospect of voting for three far-left candidates who have similar policies on just about everything except they hate each other.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

King Charles and Brexit

Charles Prince of Wales.jpg
Photo: By Mark Jones

I will never forget waking up in the summer of 2016 to the news that Britain had voted to leave the European Union. It was a result I had never expected.  The second thing I will not forget is coming out of a coma in the winter of 2017 and seeing the news that everyone was still arguing about bloody Brexit.

A year later and the arguments still going on. Will the Prime Ministers deal get through Parliament. I have no idea but I hope so. I am sick of hearing about bloody Brexit. I'm not the only one. Outside of the political circles ordinary folk don't bother talking about it. Those that do limit themselves to ranting on Facebook because most of their friends and neighbours would probably just tell them to fuck off.

As I listen to Arlene Foster raging about Northern Ireland shouldn't be having separate rules from the mainland I groan at the hypocrisy. Northern Ireland has lots of different laws from the UK mainland. Abortion remains illegal as is Gay Marriage.

They even have different social security systems so that if someone moves to anywhere else in the UK and wishes to challenge a decision made by an officer in Northern Ireland no one in the rest of the UK can change it, the case has to be sent back to NI for any appeal.

I just want it all over. I accept the people voted to leave but a hard, no deal Brexit is a dangerous road to take no matter what Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for for the Nineteenth Century says. He's bloody well rich enough to deal with the consequences. The vast bulk of us are not.

I genuinely feel sorry for Theresa May having to deal with Brexit. It was posh boy David Cameron's fault. He didn't prepare for the referendum properly and I'm not actually convinced that we should have had one in the first place, but hey, here we are.

Cameron says he's bored and and wants to return to politics. I've two words for you mate, one of which is off. The expression I would have used in relation to Cameron is appropriate for Tony Blair as well. You've had your day as well. You won three elections, well done, but your legacy's fucked.

For some idiotic reason your faction Progress thought it was a jolly good wheeze to have people pay £3 and have a say about who is party leader. Led to every unwashed protester in the country crawling our of their collective pits to taking over the Labour Party. God if only you hadn't been so tolerant of old Steptoe, now do one, times up.

Meanwhile the Prince of Wales has had his 70th Birthday and is still waiting for his turn to be Monarch. However mum's still going strong and the Queen Mother lived to over a hundred so you going to have to wait.

Now some people, myself included have mused with the the idea of skipping a generation to allow Prince William to ascend to the throne, but that's not how it works. When the Queen dies Charles automatically becomes King. That's how accession works period.

There was a time when Charles wasn't popular because of the breakup of his marriage to Princess
Diana. Thing is it's not our business really is it. How many times have the rest of the public broken up with their wives and girlfriends? It happens. As for the fact he talks to plants so what? I natter to my cat. had a plant once. Smoked it, so there!

Charles will be King, that's (almost) a certainty as he could theoretically pass away before his mum. He's only a few years older than I am and I nearly popped me clogs a year ago. Nothings set in stone.

I've more or less grown up watching the Prince of Wales on TV since I was a lad and seen him do everything from make a Goon style video to talk about the danger of plastic in the environment at the age of 20 no less. Ahead of his time on some issues and then he spoils it with bollocks about architecture. Oh well can't agree on everything.

Still rather have a hereditary King than a President. Trump anyone.

UK Foreign Office fear of attack on consulate staff led Home Office to block asylum for Asia Bibi


Today the UK Foreign Office admitted that Christian blasphemy victim Asia Bibi was blocked form being offered asylum for fears of attack to their consulate officials. Frightened UK officials in Pakistan pleaded to the Home Office led by the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, who capitulated to the same extremists that Imran Khan's government yielded to.

The Guardian Newspaper, wrote:

Tom Tugendhat, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair, asked the Foreign Office permanent secretary, Sir Simon McDonald, whether the episode “does not raise the question that either staff should be withdrawn or security increased or otherwise UK policy is effectively dictated to by a mob?”

Tugendhat took the Committee into a lengthy private session after McDonald said he did not wish to give evidence in public on a such a sensitive issue.

McDonald defended Britain’s efforts to find a third country to take Bibi, saying this would allow UK policy objectives to be achieved without any risk to its staff.

Tugendhat said the episode represented “one of the clearest examples of free conscience being challenged today.”

Read the full article (here)

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, who first revealed this news to the world, said:

"This is a historic capitulation by our Home Office and Foreign Office which sends out the wrong message to extremists, it seems our nation has been hijacked by the extremists and I am sure that many Muslims living here will be just as disappointed as people of other faiths with this diabolical decision.

"I have been accused by more hardline Muslims of making up this account despite having an email from an APPG Secretary confirming this was the case.

"Moreover, in the email I was shocked to learn that this belief of 'embassies being attacked' was compounded by a belief of unrest within our own communities - so the full truth is still being delayed.

"I hope the threats to me and my family stop and that people will now accept that I have been honest in my opinions and judgement.

"I still believe that Asia Bibi could find a safe haven in Britain and I call upon Britain to make the right decision and offer her asylum, an invitation I will work hard to compel the family to accept.

"Many moderate Muslims have been sharing their love for Asia and that has been heartening as it illustrates their is a strong sense that justice has to be done for our suffering sister.
So please Prime Minister Theresa May, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt and Rt Hon Sajid Javid give BPCA an audience so that we might share other details pertaining to the case with you.

"Jihadi brides and ex ISIS soldiers are being welcomed back into Britain and given rehabilitation (click here)but Asia Bibi an innocent Christian is not?

"We need to rethink our asylum policy and save our nation before we widen social polarity and division.

He added:

"I am deeply concerned with the relationship Britian has with Pakistan who remain our largest foreign aid recipient but shows no signs of improvement towards a fairer society.
Perhaps now is the time to terminate foreign aid to Pakistan.

"In 2013 the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported that Pakistani Textbooks demonize and caricature minorities even going as far as labelling Christians as spies for the west.

"A 2016 amendment resulted in an equally unfavourable report that suggested 50% had been removed and a further 50% of offensive texts inserted, as once again Pakistan exhibited a lip service approach to change. (click here)

"Britain has been sending an annual budget of £225 million to Pakistan for holistic education every year yet only a reported 7% of Christians attain an adequate level of literacy. If it is proven that our tax-payers money contributed to the textbooks that have espoused hatred for minorities could we then accuse Britain of being complicit in the the genocide that is being revealed in Pakistan?

"Pakistan has been a long term ally in the war against terror yet the US had to undertake a covert operation to kill Osama Bin Laden near the Islamabad capital - worse still he was living in a military cantonment. (click here)

"Ahmadi's and Christians make up 2% of the population of Pakistan yet they account for 50% of blasphemy allegations, the other 50% are mainly Shia Muslims being targeted by the Sunni Majority.

"A Mulsim NGO in Pakistan reported in 2014 that an estimated 700 Christian girls are kidnapped, raped, and forced into Islamic marriage every year. A figure BPCA believes is conservative - the report further highlights how 300 Hindu girls suffer the same fate and yet the world stays silent. (click here)

"11 terrorists attacks have targeted Christians in 6 years causing hundreds of deaths and many more injured compensation for these victims has been limited and often the government has disclaimed targeting of Christians when Muslims have been hurt as part of a collateral damage.

"1 million Christians are enslaved in Brick Kilns and many more in the carpet weaving industry of Pakistan, despite Pakistan having implemented the Bonded Labor (Abolition) Act 1992.

"While injustices like this go on, how can Britain continue to hold such strong diplomatic and economic ties with Pakistan?"

Please sign our petition calling asylum for Asia Bibi (click here)

Please sign our petition calling for an end to foreign aid to terminate aid to Pakistan until they can prove they are working towards change (click here)

British Pakistani Christian Association, continues to provide advocacy and humanitarian aid to Christians in Pakistan and people of Britain. We cannot do it without your help please donate by clicking (here)

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Reading the Left Press so you don't have to

I thought I'd start off with something different this week with a quick look at the Worker, published by the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) one of the few remaining organisations that originated in the "Maoist" tradition and was founded by Reg Birch a leading trade unionist in the sixties after a break with the official CPGB.

Unlike their rivals and frankly many of the more well known left publications their journal is remarkably jargon free and has a more professional "feel" than many other publications. It only comes out bi-monthly.

Being fairly "nationalist" in it's outlook the CPB(M-L) are anti-EU and their editorial leads on the subject of Brexit:

Now is a time of unprecedented popular involvement in politics, a true democratic renaissance. We the people voted to leave, but our vote is being frustrated.

Across Britain there is a palpable sense of anger at the attempts to betray the referendum result of 2016. Anger at the ultra-Remainers who creep to Brussels to urge no compromise as the best way of thwarting independence. Anger at the undemocratic “People’s Vote” charade – we had a proper people’s vote in 2016. Anger at the government’s supine contortions.

But anger is not enough. If the vote to leave was a form of revolution, then we are witnessing an attempted counter-revolution. Like the professional elites and entitled students of Chile in 1973, they take to the streets to deny democracy. Like the Jacobites, they see their only hope in intervention from abroad.

Not sure I agree there. The country is divided but the Brexiteers are very determined and we will leave though as an internationalist I think it's a reactionary move comrades, but I'm not getting involved in any spats over bloody Brexit. Sick of hearing about it, as are most people I would imagine.

There was one quite interesting article on Romania which bemoaned (excerpts):

Romania has become a country populated mainly by the old and by children. Working-age adults are thin on the ground, except in August and around Christmas, when they come home for a visit.....
Since Romania became part of the EU in 2007, 3.7 million Romanians have left to work abroad (though they are still counted officially as part of the population). To put that number in perspective, in 2007 the working age population amounted to 14 million, so around a quarter of the country’s workers have gone....

And it came swiftly. One of the most acute areas of labour shortage is in medicine. For all the talk of an NHS crisis when Britain leaves the EU, the real crisis is in countries such as Romania. Between 2011 and November 2013 fully a third of Romania’s hospital doctors left the country.

On Saturday there is an "anti-racism" march organised by various strands of the left. Socialist worker tells us that:

Capitalism produces racism and uses it to keep us divided and distracted from the real relations in society.

However racism exists in all societies no matter what form of production and class relations are. It's not as if the left is exempt from racism despite the current outbreak of anti-Semitism on the left for which the SWP is among those who must share the blame. 

So many of the marchers on Saturday will include racists, those who hold anti-Semitic views developed through so-called anti-Zionism which denies the Jews a right of national self determination and has led many on the left to both ignore and promote anti-Semitism through racist memes and tweets.

Remember comrades your slogan "From the river to the sea" is calling for genocide so don't kid me that you are "anti-racists".  Never Again means fighting the likes of the SWP, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the anti-West Stop the War Campaign. They are the racist mob that concern me!

Had a quick look at another bi-monthly publication, this time Peace News for non-violent revolution. Whilst there's fat chance of a revolution being peaceful there was some life in this publication in allowing debate over trans rights which I think has not happened in any other publication as far as I am aware though the Morning Star did publish a letter from various trade union leaders requesting an open debate.

First off though is a letter from a previous issue in which Les May writes:

If free speech means anything it means having the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Increasingly we have people trying to grab the moral high ground by claiming that something they read or hear, and do not like, is racist, anti-semitic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, patriarchal or in the latest catch all phrase, ‘hate speech’, and should not be said.

These terms have become the first response of people who seem to think they have the right never to be offended, but are seemingly unwilling to engage in any kind of debate which might challenge their perceptions.

and concludes:

A society is diverse if its people are tolerant enough to accept that others have a right to hold and express different views. Free debate is an expression of that diversity and tolerance. A society where some groups expect their views to be privileged, and the rest of us to sing from their hymn sheet or not sing at all, lacks both diversity and tolerance.

with that in mind I was interested to read a letter the latest edition from Catherine Bann  :

The other main argument used to explain how trans people can literally be the opposite sex is that ‘sex is a spectrum’, referencing intersex conditions. Many intersex people are very upset that their difficult medical conditions are being appropriated to justify a radical trans ideology. The vast majority of intersex people are either male or female, with some reproductive problems associated with chromosomal abnormalities. They generally do not identify as trans and the idea that they are a third, fourth... sex, and not truly male or female is offensive to them.....

Trans rights must be protected, but not this unscientific over-reach. Trans women are trans women, and what is wrong with that? In the words of one transsexual woman, who is part of a growing movement of transsexuals and transvestites who oppose the current transgender ideology, ‘male born trans people need to be proud of who we are, not try to subsume women. Women are members of the female sex. People born male just aren’t and never can be. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Accepting it is the road to mental well-being. Chasing mirages isn’t.’

Pity we have to wait two months for a reply from from the trans-Stalinists.