Three Cheers For Ken Clarke

by craig on October 6, 2011 12:31 pm in Uncategorized

I am an unabashed fan of Ken Clarke, and long have been. He was stating a simple truth when he created a furore by noting that some rapes are worse than others, a truth denied by politically correct feminist idiots who see rape not as what it is – a sordid and vicious crime of violence – but as a metaphysical act, incapble of degree, like the Eucharist. Murders can be aggravated or mitigated, but not rapes. What bollocks, and good for Ken for speaking sense.

He has now quite rightly castigated Teresa May’s claim that cat-owners cannot be deported as “childish”. Actually the frothy mouthed racist bigots cheering on their poster girl are much more dangerous than childish, but Clarke is right again. Doubtless a sacking offence.

Over 55,000 people were deported from the UK last year, and just 112 managed to stay here by using Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights – that is one in every 550 deportees, or 0.18%. Article 8 reads:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

How the Tories manage to disagree with that is beyond me. Bunch of xenophobic idiots – apart from Ken Clarke, who as a young man plainly wandered into the wrong party.

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128 Comments

  1. I think May is a dangerous woman, a bit potty but very ambitious. I was looking at her during Cameron’s ‘speech’. Ken was sitting behind her two rows back. She fixes a smile on her face which isn’t a smile. She got her own way by not allowing the US cop to take the Met job.

  2. Quite so Craig, but it does beg the question as to which party Ken Clarke should be in

  3. “…as to which party Ken Clarke should be in…”

    Either Ken makes her look stupid; or by saying nothing, the Party looks stupid.

    It’s pathetic that the Home Sec doesn’t understand the idea of ratio decidendi …

  4. Ken Clarke is in a party. As far as I can tell, that is compulsory for being in politics.

  5. Teresa May is as deplorable as Ken Clarke is likeable. The way she presented a blatant lie “I kid you not” as truth ought to qualify her for a job in the media.

  6. Article 8 is very close to meaningless, in that carefully-contrived way that politicians have of appearing to say something without actually quite doing so.

    “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence”.

    What on earth does “respect” mean? It reminds me of the old blow-off line “I’ll always respect you…” Which essentially means “I would prefer never to see you again”. I suggest that this right, thus articulated, does not bind any public official to do or refrain any action at all.

    It gets better. Now comes the weasel clause: “…except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.

    Oh, I see. Unless the government passes a law saying that someone’s “private and family life, his home and his correspondence” DON’T have to be respected for just about any conceivable reason.

  7. As KM says (albeit misusing “begging the question”) – which party should he have joined then?

  8. Tom Welsh -

    Yes, which is why to make its repeal a racists’ rallying point is nonsensical.

  9. Yes, it’s comforting to know that there’s still at least one Conservative who can do the nasty without the stupid. Almost all of them nowadays are content to sit back and do both.

  10. It only takes an IQ in double figures to see at once that the Bolivian’s Cat story was rubbish. I actually emailed BBC the day before Mrs. may’s speech to protest that they allowed it through then, on ‘Today.’ Ken Clarke is a pleasant enough man. Those of us in Nottingham met him now and then at pro-Euro meetings, and in Sainsbury’s. But to be pro-Europe does not make one leftish. Remember his time at Education, and Health? A driving force for centralization and privatization more strongly than any politician before newLabour.

  11. It’s quite rare for me to disagree with you Mr Murray but Ken Clarke is a traitor just like the rest of the EU-supporting gravy-trainers.

  12. Tony from Uxbridge

    6 Oct, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    Ken Clarke is in the right party for his own right reasons. The problem is the opportunist oafs who join the party seeing it as a vehicle for their own selfish ambitions.

  13. “Ken Clarke, who as a young man plainly wandered into the wrong party.”
    .
    No Craig, he is in the right party
    http://www.bmj.com/content/331/7521/912/suppl/DC1

  14. I should have said, what does it matter which of the main parties Ken Clarke wandered into, he would be at home in any of them!.

  15. Barry 38, where do you think our biggest market lies? Ken Clarke recognises this and has long argued for a much stronger engagement. Although I do not agree with him on every matter, I think he has a fair mind and can think for himself without the pre chewed agenda’s from the PM’s catnip brigade.

    And here from the EDP in Norwich comes the never ending story of the ‘real’ Tory attitudes, for whom power ueber alles cannot be disrupted by drink driving cllr.s, who then proceeded to a kick police inspector. He was fined, became an Independent, and got rewarded with a perky job on the finance and risk committee, howzat
    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/waveney_district_council_appalled_by_position_over_shamed_drink_drive_councillor_andrew_draper_1_1080732

    Since my first reply to this ongoing story did not appear and the EDP acts out its usual go slow bias and censorship, I have copied my secong reply here.
    I know Mary especially enjoy’s this Cllr.s saucy antics…:)Feel free to comment on their website, the EDP is so pro Tory its not true, by publishing the investigation committee members names, the paper is effectively involving themselves in moralising in favour of the Conservative party as it exists on Waveney council.

    “Since my comment has not appeared yet, I presume that this issue needs a slightly bigger audience nationally, maybe it should be raised at Tory HQ, because this behaviour by Con. Cllr.Colin Law and ex Conservative Cllr. Draper, of riotous fame, is what brings them into disrepute. Waveney council’s business is seriously compromised and to reward this councillor with fronting the finance and risk committee is putting two fingers up to us all. The Conservative Party has shown that only power matters, at any price.”

    Sorry to have diverted slightly, showing the nasty law abusing, kicking and screaming side of the Tory party, nowt to do with Ken.

  16. While I agree with Clarke’s comments over May’s cat hiatus, I cannot join you in cheering for him. Not until he realises that the legal aid reforms he is overseeing are an utter disaster, that fixed fee for legal aid is an evil system, and becuase he oversaw the closure of Refugee and Migrant Justice and latterly Immigration Advisory Service, depriving thousands of competent legal advice

  17. It’s an extraordinary and rather sad situation when a Conservative Justice minister is patently so much more liberal, humane and progressive than not only virtually all his Cabinet colleagues, but than his Labour opposite number too. It’s worrying that Cameron has taken T May’s side in the (significant) row over the cat. I fear that Ken’s days in government may be numbered, and with him any last hope of prison reform.

  18. The Conservatives aren’t conservative, Labour has nothing to do with representing the interests of working people, and as far as I can see the Liberal Democrats include some of the least liberal politicians I have ever heard of. That comes as no surprise, because all modern parties (except for the unelectable fringe) consist of pragmatic managerialists, whose only concern is using technical means to get and hold on to power. (Oh, and rich pickings when they retire from active politics).

  19. I question the figure of 112. I suspect that many thousands or tens of thousands each year are given leave to remain based on Article 8 grounds.

  20. I have to agree with your sentiments Brian B., his Independence and free mind is bound to upset the totalitarian line.

  21. I saw that too Guest. One could ask why the BBC put such things up. On the Surrey page we have this about a cyclist being pushed off his bike by a car passenger. Are they trying to make us believe that our society is becoming more brutal? My experience is that it is not. People are definitely not as community minded as they used to be but are not generally cruel and thoughtless as is portrayed.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-15198770
    .
    The BBC website is more ‘tabloid’ in content than it used to be. Competing with the Mail?

  22. Guest, and isn’t that the truth about asylum seekers? It’s not Teresa May’s version. Though a family man can be in this country for 10 years and have no citizen status, even though his children go to school here, and because he could not get citizenship, and was worried about not being able stay, either jumped or fell to his death, to taunts of ‘jump’ from a ‘caring’ group below. As you say, how sad this world is!

  23. Mary, cyclists can be treated as having no rights to be on the road. Some Passengers (it’s happened to me a few times) will have their windows down and shout at the top of their voice to try and scare the living daylights out of you. To them it’s a bit of fun. But I still think “Dickhead!” when it happens and may even shout it after them. There are others who just cut you up as though you’re not there, or overtake you and suddenly turn left so you have to brake. Sill it’s not as bad as Budapest, and nowhere near as bad as Istanbul. We’re digressing.

  24. mary/John Goss, just in the last few weeks, I have talked to at least three people about the dire situation we are in, in every case they put 100% of the blame on immigrants. I have never heard such hated racist talk like it since the 1950s and the intake of immigrants at that time. I thought we had come along way from that, sadly, it seems not. I am really sickened by so many of my fellow citizens. I truly dread what the future holds for all of mankind.

  25. Ingo Draper is a nice example of a Tory bovver boy isn’t he and yet some of the rioters went to prison. Why didn’t he get some porridge for being three times over the limit and for kicking the police inspector? Perhaps the beak is known to him.
    .
    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/waveney_district_council_appalled_by_position_over_shamed_drink_drive_councillor_andrew_draper_1_1080732
    .
    btw Your comment is not up there although it contains no typos. ;)

  26. Cats can do a lot of good things – lessen stress, predict earthquakes and so on. I love them. But they certainly cannot stop you getting deported. I like Ken too although his party does not appeal to me at all. BUT he lets logic rule rather than giving in to pure bigotry and a creepy, sleazy, opportunist desire to pander to certain elements within the party. The fact that the man had a cat does not constitute a causal link between that fact and his right not to get deported due to respect for his family life. I gather the cops do not like Teresa May. I can understand that. I can see how they’d think she’s not very bright, bigoted and looking for the approval of the fascistic, racist elements within the right-wing camp. Barking!

  27. All this cat stuff is of course diversionary to take our attention off the stalled economy, the perilous state of the banks and the savagery being enacted in our name in Libya and Afghanistan. Also the ‘reforms’ to the NHS, ie its destruction.

  28. Guest, I hear racist comments from time to time, not as often as you seem to be hearing them over the economic crisis. But there are pockets in the UK where racism seems more prevalent. Birmingham is quite good in not being racist, sometimes I think it takes positive discrimination too far in the direction of unwarranted ethnic support, as I think it sometimes does with its support for women. There should of course be equal opportunities. But I have particular sympathy for asylum-seekers, having known one or two, and it saddens me to think that the era of Enoch Powell and the “rivers of blood” oratory might be returning. I hope not!

  29. “He has now quite rightly castigated Teresa May’s claim that cat-owners cannot be deported as “childish”.”
    .
    “Immigrant cat story: Ken Clarke ‘regrets’ jibe at May”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15199000

  30. Craig,

    Your well-argued and rational posting is in stark contrast to the populist political rhetoric of May and other rabid Tories, who like the Republicans in the US are increasingly evolving into an anti-rational and anti-knowledge cult.

  31. More on the escape from universal jurisdiction of Tzipi Livni. I did not know that there was a warrant out for her arrest.
    .
    Today, 6 October 2011, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited the United Kingdom.
    .

    Ms. Livni was Foreign Minister during Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead. OCL). Significant evidence was collected indicating her individual criminal responsibility for war crimes and other international crimes committed during this period.
    .
    In December 2009, after reviewing this evidence at the request of a civilian victim of OCL, a warrant for her arrest was issued by a senior district Judge in London, UK.
    .
    In advance of Ms. Livni’s current visit, a Palestinian civilian war crimes victim, represented by lawyers from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and Hickman & Rose Solicitors, invited the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to authorise the arrest of Ms Livni to enable an urgent decision to be made by the Attorney General to charge her for war crimes. Alternatively, the victim requested the DPP’s permission to apply to a judge for an arrest warrant for Ms. Livni.
    .
    At lunchtime today, the DPP made a statement that he has been blocked from any arrest decision or giving his consent to an application for the issue of an arrest warrant – BUT NOT on the basis of a lack of evidence. The only reason given by the DPP is the retrospective grant of diplomatic immunity to Ms Livni by the British Foreign Secretary on the basis of a ‘Special Mission’ (which is not accepted by the victim).
    .
    Ms Livni and the Foreign Secretary have claimed this week that the recent change in the British law on arrest warrants (requiring the consent of the DPP before a magistrate could issue a warrant) has spared Ms Livni from arrest. If that were true then no certificate was needed from the Foreign Secretary. Rather, it was the issue of a certificate of diplomatic immunity that allowed a war crimes suspect, Ms Livni, the subject of a previous arrest warrant, to escape due process.
    /….
    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7768:new-legislation-fails-to-give-tzipi-livni-protection-from-arrest-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194

  32. Ken Clarke – Light into Darkness – who knows?

    ” I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq was the worst military decision taken by this country since the Suez invasion, and history will judge that it poses several of the same issues:”

    Ken Clarke 22nd Oct. 2004

    Ken Clarke is bringing forward a Green Paper next summer which will prevent in any trial any disclosure of evidence which might be relevant about the nefarious activities of MI5 and MI6.(Torture)

    Michael Meacher Nov. 18th 2010

  33. KingofWelshNoir

    6 Oct, 2011 - 8:48 pm

    @Mark Golding

    Surely the decision to invade Iraq was the worst military decision of all time, not just since Suez?

    Can anyone think of a worse one?

  34. i think some of the right of the Conservative party object to the idea that foreigners should have any rights at all, let alone the right to asylum or refugee status if they have different coloured skin.

    Ken Clarke is certainly more reasonable and progressive than they are, though i’m a bit dubious of him given him taking money for a directorship from British American Tobacco while they were operating in Burma

  35. p.s i saw a piece in one of the newspapers (maybe the Independent?) in the last couple of weeks showing the popularity of different Coalition ministers among Conservative party conference delegates – Danny Alexander the Lib Dem got quite a high positive rating with them, while Ken Clarke got a negative one.

    In the 1980s he was viewed as a Thatcherite put into the Treasury to carry out cuts. Today most Conservatives view him as too liberal for their party. That’s one measure of how fast the centre has shot off to the right, partly due to Labour leaderships’ attitude that the way to win elections is to adopt most of the Conservative party’s policies rather than go to the effort of criticising them and offering alternatives.

  36. Mark Golding, I doubt the green paper you refer to ever saw the light of day, let alone the white. I can understand it being wishful thinking on Meacher’s part, since he supported wholeheartedly the invasion of Iraq, and opposed an investigation into Iraq. Coming from a Labour background myself I think Meacher has sold out, while Clarke has kept his integrity.

  37. Duncan McFarlane : With reference to your post about Clark being on the right wing back in the 80′s, and being far to the left of Conservative mainstream today. A fine observation – Clark is no more of a softy wuss now than he ever was. It just shows how far the centre has shifted.
    .
    Dennis Skinner noted during the hay-days of Blair, that the fastest way of becoming a left-winger in “new” labour was to hold one’s political ground for six months.
    .
    Recently, Obama has been quoting (and accurately compared to, in his policy statements) Reagan. Despite Reagan being assigned Holy Prophet status among every Repug and teabagger, they would no longer give his policies the time of day – he’d be booed off the stage as a hated “liberal”. This is the term given to anyone to the left of Mussolini, and being called a “liberal” is a terrifying charge – particularly to anyone in MSM. It places one slightly below child molesters on the social acceptability scale.
    .
    There are no real Conservatives any more, just as there are no real Republicans in or running for office. We’ve got a bunch of swivel-eyed reactionaries who’d denounce their supposed idols (Churchill, Reagan) as hopeless, anti-business, dangerously naive pacifists.

  38. KingofWelshNoir – agree whole-heartedly.
    .
    John Goss
    .
    I am not a fan of wet paper towel Mr Meacher although I note he said ‘..it was the biggest political mistake’ of his life to vote strongly for the Iraq war and of course he was a close ally of Tony Benn; obviously he likes to run with the hares and the hounds in my opinion so I’ll leave him ‘pending’ in my ‘add friend’ folder.
    .
    Clarke I believe has a close relationship with our secret services, hence the green/turning white paper.
    .
    I am struggling to oppose deep-rooted secrecy still lurking in the UK, except obviously in war. At the extreme end of the spectrum we remind ourselves why Annie Machon left MI5. Yes, they are prepared to assassinate anyone the Peerage agrees and where false-flag still remains on the table despite growing evidence of collusion. That is of course an extreme view that some will pooh pooh – so be it. At the other end of the spectrum we learn the paper has triggered some national security debate; Sir David Omand for instance describing national security as:
    .
    “..a state of trust on the part of the citizen that the risks to everyday life, whether from man-made threats or impersonal hazards, are being adequately managed to the extent that there is confidence that normal life can continue.” Urrrgh!
    .
    He went on to say:
    .
    “Intelligence and security agencies cannot escape back into the shadows, nor adopt a Cheshire Cat position of trying to appear when convenient and disappear when not, leaving only the grin behind.”
    .
    I remind him that the statutory framework that the intelligence services are supposed to operate under, bends like steel girders in office fires!
    .
    Sir John Sawers said, “Torture is illegal and abhorrent under any circumstances, and we have nothing whatever to do with it…
    .
    I would call him a liar to his face in the same way I would accuse Clark of perpetuating ‘shrouded secrecy’ a force against liberty and freedom.

  39. Worse military decisions – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? German invasion of the Soviet Union? Napoleonic invasion of Russia? Each led directly or indirectly to the ruin of the invaders.

  40. alan campbell

    7 Oct, 2011 - 2:19 am

    May is being supported by the real power in the country – Paul Dacre – editor of the “Forger’s Gazette”.

  41. Its amazing how often the ability of the sleaziest, most unscrupulous, most careerist politicial operators to appear in public and to the media as populists and regular blokes can help that politician to get away with the same nasty frothy mouthed racist bigoted anti-populist policies as their supposedly less populist more careerist counterparts.

    Despite his image as a regular bloke and despite his intolerance of chumps and blowhards like Teresa May, Ken Clarke has both supported and been a member of every single anti-populist slash and burn Tory government there has been since he was first elected to Parliament under Edward Heath. And that’s despite smoking pipes, listening to jazz and wearing Hush Puppies.

    Actually Ken Clarke never said that some rapes are worse than others. What he said was that date rape is no big deal and that we should save the courts money by giving rapists 12 month sentences and/or a 50% discount in their sentences if they plead guilty (as if that was ever likely to happen in real life).

    Saying the crime of rape can be “mitigated” may sound like the simple truth, but the actual truth is that the way men accused of rape actually plead mitigation is to say that the woman consented, or that she asked for it.

    If you actually know Craig of cases where a man accused of rape has pleaded “mitigation” because he woman didn’t resist or because he didnt hit her or pull a knife on her before or during the attack then let’s hear about them. If Dominique Strauss-Kahn had gone on trial, would you have advised him to plead “mitigation” on the basis that he didn’t use a knife and only (allegedly) used his superior physical strength to hold his (alleged) victim down while he carried out his (alleged) attack?

  42. What do you reckon are the odds on Tzivi, I bombed Ghaza’s women and children, Lipni addressing the House of Commons on a serious issue of …. lets say Syria, or Iran?
    Is it not a full on slap in the judiciaries face?, who is seemingly overuled by the consideration of Catnip No. 1, spanky Osborne, and his fellow nose rubbers in the totalitarian cabinet.

  43. Craig

    I have to disagree with your figures and statitics. I see it from the sharp end every day. Your figures are based on tribunal figures not real stats.for example If a student who has overstayed his or her visa is caught and interviewed by immigration. All they have to say is I have a long term girlfriend or a wife or friend that I care about alot. The UKBA then do not even bother to pursue the claim as they know the tribunals will not deport them subsequently they give them further leave to remain and give them reporting conditions until they get their claim approved. So a small number of judgements can have a disproportionate effect on the over all situation. An analogy I will give is A judge decided that police cannot be insulted by swear words so overnight police stopped arresting people for sec5 Public order act. Letting everyone stay just because they are in a relationship also is slap in the face for people who come to this country legimately paying thousands of pounds in visas and solicitors. Being an overstay or a illegal entrant is a CRIME that leads to exploitation and other forms of criminality. People should stop romantisising it and either decide on an open door policy for this country with no visa controls or we should start enforcing the ones we have before we sink under the Birmingham sized numbers that enter this country each year. I work in a London Borough that has 2.5 x the number of residents that it is officialy credited with. What kind of strain do you think that puts on the public services. Behind the shops illegal compounds are built in the style of pakistani or indian homes where up to 20 or thirty people live hotbunking sometimes 6 or more to a room the only time they come to light is when a fire happens and someone gets hurt or tempers flare and someone gets seriously injured.
    The council turns a blind eye needing the votes and support from the rich paraite landlords. People in middleclass comfortable suburds who think immigration is a jolly good thing because they can exploit them as cheap builders,nannys or do a good car wash dont see where they crawl back to or have to wait 16 hours in the local casualty because of the huge overdemand for services. If you did you might not be so liberal with your views.

  44. Ingo I am trying without success to find out what the cost of security for her visit was. Here is this photo boy Hague is holding out his bloodied hand to her even more bloodied one.
    .
    In the video at the bottom here and half way through, you can see she has a group of heavies just like Bliar. Note Sky News’ slimeball Adam Boulton gave her house room.
    .
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4132091,00.html

  45. Steve, should immigration not be ruled on a case by case basis? What of those who seemingly rob their countries blind and stash their ill gotten gains in bullwarks like Britain, evade justice at home or come here, just to wash their dirty linnen, be they Russian, Uzbek or whatever. What of those who are wanted in their countries for crimes against humanity, or have an arrest warrant hanging over their head and come here knicker shopping, just as Tzivi Lipni?

    What of those who are from the EU, are happily married but unemployed and who do not get any benefits, but opay VAT and import taxes with everything they buy?

    What off those tradesmen from Poland, Sweden or Hungary, exhibiting fast and efficient work, clean up after themselves and leave a satisfied English customer, who had enough of cowboys and ripp off merchants?

    As long as Governments cannot guarantee every school leaver a job, further education, civil or military service, as long as apprenticeships are mere pilot projects and not mandatory requirement for any business, the state of youth unemployment in this country will not change.

    Politicians have to be removed from playing around with education to suit their own ilk, this is the result of pendulum politics, when one party destroys what the other implemented, only to erect their own legacy at great cost and wasted energies. Tribal totalitarian politics, rather than communitarian, unmandated gung ho careerists and media tarts who can’t live without the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
    To blame immigrants for the state of the economy and unemployment is facile, a diversdion from the ineptness of those in charge pandering to the establishment. Those talking about immigration never take those seeking work abroad into account, the expats who make a living in eastern Europe or Russia, those who would be returned in a reciproke reaction to this false argument, a mere target to dive3rt from thweir iabilities to make capitalismn work for all, bretton woods has failed and 70% of world economies will feel it until something else, more sustainable emerges from the financial rubble.

    If you want limited protectionismn, do not start with the workers, but with the goods that are manufactured cheaply in SEAsia, those non doms who play Dixie with tax laws and preach to us about globalisation. 1.2 million companies are not paying taxes, large companiesm, such as NI, alledgedly, pay far lower tax rates than required and our revenue services are cut to the bone. This system has to crack, its long overdue and it will happen, diverting the anger into futile arguments around EU immigration is akin to pissing in one’s shoes, these are our most valuable and nearest markets and whatever happens in future, we need each other.

    I’m proud to be an immigrant citizens of the EU and would not want to be nationalised into a British subject.

    btw. I hope you included those who are never mentioned by our immigration sirens Steve, the incessant immigration from the US and Australia? not to speak of the irritating behaviour of politicians copying insufficient and wastefull policies from non EU countries. Immigrants who should have far less access to these shores and their jobs than EU countries?

  46. should read: ‘a mere target to divert from their inabilities to make capitalismn work for all, Bretton woods has failed and 70% of the worlds economies will fail and fall, until something else, more sustainable emerges from the financial rubble.@

  47. Carl
    .
    “What he said was that date rape is no big deal”
    .
    I very much doubt it.
    .

    “Dominique Strauss-Kahn…his superior physical strength”
    .
    I doubt he was stronger than her. A short fat old man with a desk job and a taller, strongly built young woman with a physical job?

  48. The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to three people. The first two for their work in Africa and the third in Yemen.
    .
    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    Leymah Gbowee
    Tawakkul Karman

  49. Liberian, Yemeni women win Nobel Peace Prize

    Published: 10.07.11, 11:06 / Israel News

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, who mobilized fellow women against their country’s civil war, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, along with Yemeni women’s rights and democracy activist Tawakkul Karman.
    .

    The award will be seen as a strong signal in favor of the empowerment of women, especially in the developing world. (Reuters)

  50. Less to do, perhaps, with xenophobia than with political interests. They disagree with Article 8. because they’ve been breaking it and need to continue to do so.

  51. Jeremy Bentham once described the human rights as ‘nonsense on stilts.’

    The American Declaration, big on rights, states that ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident.’

    Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau wrote about ‘natural’ rights but in Hobbes and especially in the republican Rousseau these are dissolved in the political community in favour of political and civil rights.

    The whole debate about this issue is based on philosophical ignorance. People are swimming about in an empirical soup, throwing facts here and there, and neglecting the underlying distinction between ‘natural/universal’ and ‘civil’ rights. The problem is this: rights need to be tied to political community. The ECHR, for example, should be about the rights of European citizens and the British Human Rights act the Rights of British Citizens. What we have now though is a situation where the courts are attempting to uphold human/universal rights, as these are the rights that have been stupidly written into law, whereas the protection of these rights is really a matter for politics and international relations, as well as the rights systems of other states. Thus, to take an example, the universal right to family life in the Human Rights act can be used by non-British nationals as a way of gaining the British national right to family life, which is back to front. If there was a closer to to citizenship the court in denying the British right would not be denying the universal right as THE UNIVERSAL RIGHT IS A PROPERTY OF THE COLLECTION OF UNIVERSAL STATES. In practice, the right could be upheld elsewhere. Think of it like this: the universal right not to be subjected to cruel and inhuman punishment has been suggested as a reason not to deport someone with multi-drug resistant TB to a country where there is no guarantee of appropriate treatment. If the court upholds the universal right in this country then, because of the implications about residency, in effect, the judgement entails that the right of British citizenship can be granted, roughly speaking to anyone who can make it to shore of the UK who has TB, and who is from a country with poor medical care. That this is obviously absurd is clear from the fact that this judgement would it means, in effect, that literally millions of people could claim British citizenship in this way, with the all the consequent implications.

    Everyone has a universal right to, say, medical care but this does not imply that anyone particular actor has a obligation to uphold/provide for this right.

  52. No cheers for either Clarke or May from me – they are both politicians playing the media for their own interests.
    *
    In any case it turns out (as is often the case when the hysteria dies down and one delves into the facts) that although May seriously exaggerated the circumstances, for political purposes, there was an element of truth in her example.
    *
    It seems that the ownership of the cat (can you own a cat? I though they owned you…) WAS cited as a factor in determining whether a “family” existed between the man and his partner.
    *
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8811968/Immigrant-in-pet-cat-row-was-shoplifter.html

  53. Steve’s comment above deserves serious consideration. Steve wrote: “I work in a London Borough that has 2.5 x the number of residents that it is officialy credited with. What kind of strain do you think that puts on the public services?”. Compare that with Craig’s comment here:
    .
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/09/disgusting-war-criminals-squeal/
    .
    “Did you know that in Stratford and in Tower Hamlets, either there are many people there who officially do not exist, or they produce over half as much more sewerage per person than anyone else?”
    .
    We know that resentment of “immigrants” is running high, and this resentment is used for propaganda and political point-scoring. Canspeccy has repeatedly implied that there is uncontrolled immigration to the UK, which is not true at the legal level, but seems to be true at the practical level. (Note: I’ve put “immigrants” in scare quotes above because this catch-all term means different things to different people.)
    .
    Steve wrote: “All they have to say is I have a long term girlfriend or a wife or friend that I care about alot. The UKBA then do not even bother to pursue the claim as they know the tribunals will not deport them subsequently they give them further leave to remain and give them reporting conditions until they get their claim approved. So a small number of judgements can have a disproportionate effect on the over all situation.”
    .
    I cannot accept that Article 8 is responsible for this; as Craig wrote: “Over 55,000 people were deported from the UK last year, and just 112 managed to stay here by using Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights – that is one in every 550 deportees, or 0.18%”. Such a small proportion cannot be responsible for inaction on so large a scale. On the other hand, 55,000 deported seems like a rather small proportion in itself.
    .
    Maybe the real cause lies elsewhere. Maybe it is yet another example of complacent or corrupt people in comfortable jobs who can make an easy life for themselves by constantly pushing forms between departments rather than engaging with a challenging task.
    .
    Ingo’s comment is also relevant; maybe case-by-case assessment is being bypassed. At the highest level, we can see this happening with undesirables like Usmanov and Tzipi Livni, actively encouraged into Britain. At the other end of the social scale, I suspect that there are people who can arrange that “overstays” and illegal entrants get overlooked by the authorities; this would be very lucrative work for someone who knew enough people vulnerable to being deported. How many officials would it take in the appropriate departments to be the collaborators with such “fixers”? Such officials would be being bribed for doing less rather than more.
    .
    Such unofficial “extension of stay” would be very detrimental to the standing of proper immigrants. Since all that would matter would be knowing and paying a “fixer”, the proportion of dishonest people would be higher in this group. They would also be outside the official system, and thus unable to integrate in many important ways.

  54. Jay says: “I suspect many thousands or tens of thousands remain cause the article 8″ . Care to elaborate on what is that you base your suspicions?

  55. Regarding my assertion that 55,000 is a small proportion, the boroughs of Newham (which includes Stratford) and Tower Hamlets together have an official population of about 500,000 people. Considering the figures “over half as much” (Craig) and “2.5 times” (Steve), and taking a guestimate between them of about 2, this yields about 500,000 people unaccounted for in just these two boroughs, whereas 55,000, I assume, is a national figure. Of course, this doesn’t include people that leave who are not deported, but it leaves a huge grey area.

  56. Uzbek in the UK

    7 Oct, 2011 - 2:32 pm

    @KingofWelshNoir

    @Mark Golding

    Surely the decision to invade Iraq was the worst military decision of all time, not just since Suez?

    Can anyone think of a worse one?
    _________________________________

    Decision not to invade Germany in 1938 could be good example, do not you think?

    With regards to Iraq, I think the worst decision for British Government was not to invade it but to draw its borders earlier, when British Empire was crumbling.

  57. Immediate discussion required, and not for the first time.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P2jJdrz9bY

  58. Mary’s assessment of Theresa May as a ‘dangerous woman, a bit potty but very ambitious’ is spot on. Also, the impact of the HRA on our capacity to deport people is probably exaggerated; as other have pointed out, the judicial authorities in other EU countries seem to grasp that public safety should as a rule override article 8, and they get on with the removal of foreigners convicted of dangerous driving or violent crime without demur.

    However I’d like to know where Craig sourced his figure of 55,000 deportations from. I’m sure it must include arrivals at airports turned back before admittance by the Borders Agency, and not just the removal of visa overstayers (such as the cat loving Bolivian)or failed asylum seekers already here . The numbers in the latter categories are far lower.

    The easiest groups for the Borders Agency to deport are failed asylum seekers (because NASS pays their benefits & sources their accommodation) and convicts (who are already in custody). The Borders Agency website states that the rolling total of removals of failed asylum seekers has in recent months varied from a low of 1351 (or 2702 per annum) in December 2009, to a high of 3177 (or 6354 per annum) in March 2009. The total number of foreign convicts in UK jails is currently around 9000 (or 8000 if Irish citizens, who are never deported, are excluded). Let’s assume from these figures a total of 4000 asylum seeker deporteees in 2010, and that 10% of the deportable foreign convict population (or 800) is expelled each year. That is less than 5000 deportations.

    Visa overstayers (students, ‘tourists’ etc) are hardly ever found, let alone deported, unless they come to the attention of the police, or unless the ‘college’ they attend, or the unscrupulous employer they work for, gets busted. The implication from Craig’s statement however is that nearly 50,000 illegal immigrants in these categories are actually forcibly returned to their own countries every year- a ludicrously high figure.

  59. Uzbek in the UK

    7 Oct, 2011 - 3:38 pm

    It looks like the government (current government) using fascist tactics to serve its own purpose (and yet many here turn against New Labour).
    Fair to say that Home Office (and UKBA in particular) is bright target for criticism from both rights and lefts. While rights criticise UKBA for allowing too many immigrants in lefts criticise it for being too harsh to them. As one wise man once said (or it might have been a women) ‘Keep both sides happy and they might make you happy’.

  60. Speaking to the point of the OP, & not any specific cases, I have to say that I feel it’s a red herring to speak of EU citizens in this context. Law gives them a right to live & work here. The end.
    Steve: Craig is writing about false premises, not debits & credits of people going in/out of the UK. At the end of the day, these are people trying their best to get on as they see it.
    DLJ: I suggest you study the second law of thermodynamics. Or Keynes’ comment, “in the long run, we are all dead”. There are no “rights” for anyone, unless humans create & assign them.
    King of Welsh Noir: Not everything of importance has happened in the last ½ century.
    And as most seem to be posting off topic anyway, it would be interesting to read Craig’s take on this

  61. Me and my shadows……..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11494915
    .
    Same old same old ……with just a few new names and faces.

  62. Sorry about posting off topic but the protest for occupying Wall Street is getting no media coverage anywhere. This photo has been removed from Facebook and renamed to stop it being pulled again.
    .
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150406070885934&set=p.10150406070885934&type=1&theater

  63. Cat owners? What on earth is the Home Secretary wittering on about? I agree with Craig about Kenneth Clarke, btw, that comparatively-speaking, he is rational. There was a time when the Conservative party was not the ideologically-extreme and childish party it is today, when it was a broad church which contained the likes of Ian MacLeod, Julian Critchley et al. Now, all the main parties are not very dissimilar, but they used to be dissimilar from one another in a number of important ways. The Labour Party moved so far to the right under Kinnock, Smith and esp. Blair/Brown, that Roy Hattersley and Barbara Castle – once identified distinctively as right-wingers within the party – came to seem as though they were on the left of the Party (remember that last party conference before she died when Castle looked as though, with a single withering glare, she would blow Blair off the stage!). So too Kenneth Clarke, who, along with Chris Patten was one of Thatcher’s young, fringed, pet ‘Wets’ – this was the man, remember, who along with right-wing ideologue (‘no-brain’) David Willetts, first introduced the ‘internal market’ (so-called) into the NHS with his notorious White paper of 1989/90 – now seems viscerally out of place in his own party. Is May trying to appeal to xenophobic dog-lovers, one wonders? Or is she just barking mad?

  64. John Goaa,

    That image is an artist’s “impression” (c) Scott Lickstein, of how the fully occupied demo might look. It was not intended to be an actual image but is being passed about as if it is a real photograph.

    See http://blog.timparkinson.net/2011/10/07/lies-damn-lies-and-photoshop-update/

  65. Sorry John Goss I meant.

  66. That’s exactly what I said. ‘Although strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he (Bentham) opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them “nonsense upon stilts.”

    There is, though, a residual problem here. The concept of a natural right, which can be traced back to the Stoic philosophy of ancient Greece – Zeno of Cittium was an immigrant into Athens forced to preach in the market place, the Stoa – accounts for the moral intuition that we possess duties and obligations to non-citizens. If an intuition is like a perception, which it is, then in some sense it has empirical validity.

    The real issue is the weak concept of Republican citizenship in our political system, as it is, in effect, a monarchy, and we are subjects. The HRA is a child of the ECHR, which is itself an extension of the UDHR, which, at the title suggests, is a universal declaration of the integrity of the individual, a moral reaction to the crimes committed against people by their own states, or the problem of displaced people; and an attempt to codify this horror into positive international law, which because of the weakness of the UN institutions is probably less than half successful.

    Once natural rights are codified into positive law, however, as is the case with the HRA, then the writ of the court, in effect, extends to the entire universe of human beings as the obligation of the court is also universal. It is the flip side of liberal interventionism, which upholds the rights of aliens outside the sovereign national space and intervenes to protect them.

    What we need is a British Bill of rights – the Tories are right about the idea though I don’t know the content – that grants rights to British citizens. This should exist alongside a European Convention which protects the rights of European citizens AND a Universal Declaration at the global level, backed by appropriate force. Of course, this is unlikely so these kinds of rights should be pursued through politics PLUS in out country and in Europe there should exist a fair way for ‘aliens’ to acquire citizenship and therefore the protection of rights by the courts. Presently, though, the coinage of human rights is being debased as it can be used as a means of acquiring citizenship. Citizenship is granted on the basis of positive action in, among and for the community whereas rights, for the individual are granted to the passive, rather than earned.

    It could be called a failure of the Republic, but we don’t have a republic.

  67. Thanks Anon. Yes, I’ve noticed that from some of the comments. But there has been no coverage and there were apparently 10,000 there last Saturday.

  68. May was capable of this injustice against Sheikh Raed Salah whom she had detained, arrested and inmprisoned. He was finally released by High Court judges and awarded damages.
    .
    Revealed: How UK government plotted with Israel lobby to ban Salah

    .
    As Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah’s appeal against deportation concluded in a Birmingham court this week, new details of the UK government’s deep links to the Israel lobby have emerged.
    .
    This follows a separate High Court ruling in London on 30 September, when a judicial review into the government’s June imprisonment of Salah ruled he was entitled to damages for “wrongful detention.”
    .
    While a panel of two immigration judges is expected to deliver a verdict within 10 days of the hearing, internal government emails obtained by The Electronic Intifada show Home Secretary Theresa May moved quickly to ban Salah not long after the pro-Israel group Community Security Trust (CST) sent a secret report on him. The report contained quotes ascribed to Salah with the word “Jews” inserted into his rhetorical attacks on Israeli occupation forces, in an attempt to paint him as an anti-Semite.
    .
    The Zionists’ shenanagans are exposed in this article.
    http://electronicintifada.net/content/revealed-uk-government-plotted-israel-lobby-ban-salah/10458

  69. “John Whittingdale and Tom Watson”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15221709

  70. Guest – “…what does it matter which of the main parties Ken Clarke wandered into, he would be at home in any of them!”

    I can think of few current politicians, certainly in the cabinet and shadow cabinet, who wouldn’t be at home in any party. At a pinch at the very least. There just isn’t that much difference any more – in fact there’s often more difference between individuals than between parties.

  71. Clarke is a first class bloke, and off hand the only Tory I wouldn’t cross a continent to avoid.

    Theresa May is a devious cow with the dress sense of a character out of Star Wars.

    She should have been sacked long ago, but I reckon she probably knows some secrets about Cameron that he wants to keep quiet.

    I expect he thought he would look cool if he appointed a woman to a senior role. Idiot.

    I agree with Ken and with you Craig. If you wipe away the politically correct bollocks (that Tories usually profess to hate) on the subject of rape, then you can see quite clearly that there are many different degrees of rape. And if that has to be explained to someone, they should get out more.

    As far as this particular debacle is concerned Ken was right. May lied to get a standing ovation and a good headline in the Daily mail. Devious old bag.

  72. “I can think of few current politicians, certainly in the cabinet and shadow cabinet, who wouldn’t be at home in any party.”
    .
    I can`t think of one!, the Lib Dems are certainly at home in the Tory party. I will make you a prediction, when this financial armageddon really starts, we will have a tri-coalition government and the cessation of elections until after the emergency (that will be along time), 99% of our politicians are in politics for just one reason…themselves.

  73. When I got banned by Alternet last week after a Mammoth 12 hour continuous session (my Wife was away looking after her Parents), I wasn’t surprised. In fact I was amazed they had been so tolerant of me for so long.

    But I guess I went several steps beyond on numerous occasions on numerous subjects.

    So I thought, well I ain’t going back, but I looked again at the email accounts I had registered over the last 10 years or so.

    I don’t do email much.

    I was amazed that google/youtube had a history of every website I had searched over the last several years

    I was completely delighted to see the results

    I didn’t realise I was such a nice Family kind of bloke

    Tony

  74. What I wrote was deleted and I was so angry, I actually moderated it myself and finally posted a much softer version which was deleted too. I didn’t even save it to my PC…

    This was more than a week ago

    Today I read about a Wired Virus on Predator Drones or something

    You see when I was a kid I used to have a Boomerang

    Tony

  75. I am living in Ireland and on my last visit to our local Aldi store I asked one of the checkout staff when was the last time he had visited his native Turkey and he replied April. He then surprised me by saying ” I am now Irish ” After 5 years employment he had become an Irish citizen. He is a well respected member of the community and before this he was subjected to continual hassle every time he traveled to watch his beloved team Arsenal. With his new Irish passport he can now travel the world as an Irishman.

  76. Michael,

    Do we need a passport to get into Ireland?

    Its just that ours expires next year May 2012 and we have done it to fuck.

    We went to 12 Festivals in England This Year

    Sure we went to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands too…

    But it was far too windy.

    I like nice calm warm sea

    Surfing is For The Kids

    Yes it was a nice hotel

    But we won’t be going back there again

    They didn’t like my Dress Sense

    Never had a Problem anywhere else in the World

    I Don’t wear Penguin Suits when it is hot

    Tony

  77. Mary
    Thanks for drawing attention to the Sheikh Raed Salah Electronic Intifada report.
    When they say that Theresa May recognised that his case was ‘very finely balanced’ I take that to mean that the justice of his cause was so apparent that it would be difficult to swing the decision about him to the cause of the Israel lobby.
    The relationship between UK politicians and Israel is nearly as comprehensive as the British love of pets. Is this love of Israel – Empire by surrogacy? Like middle-aged British parents who cruise around in French people carriers with their children-substitute dogs?
    We keep Israel, like we keep pit-bull terriers and then show TV programmes of animal welfare charities complaining about the increasing cruelty to these savage and terrifying animals?!?

    The pussy-footing around about Zionism by Craig and others reminds me of a French pornographic cartoon I once saw of naked men buggering eachother in a line. They all take benefit!?!? from the power of the Zionist banks who control our lives. Everbody needs the banks to stay alive.
    Nobody dares to move against the bankers for fear of being shut down themselves. Everyones’ ears are blocked against the staring reality that Zionism is controlling and screwing up the entire free world and Islam is the truth. The only natural predator of the Zionist is a Muslim. Why? Because nobody else is interested in the inconvenience of the truth.

  78. EU Parliament Takes the First Step to Prevent Sales of Surveillance Equipment Used to Violate Human Rights
    .
    InternationalNSA
    Spying
    The European Parliament today formally recognized what has become increasingly clear: some European tech companies have been selling to repressive governments the tools used to surveil democracy activists. In response, it passed a resolution to bar overseas sales of systems that monitor phone calls and text messages, or provide targeted Internet surveillance, if they are used to violate democratic principles, human rights or freedom of speech.
    .
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/eu-parliament-takes-first-step-bans-sales
    .
    European and American companies are involved.

  79. Oh dear, I’ve been pooper-scooped by the machine. Again. As usual.

  80. Tony – Maybe you shouldn’t post while pissed off your head, and then they wouldn’t be deleted. Don’t worry about having that post deleted from a week or so ago – that was also nothing but worthless, drunken ramblings.
    .
    Why don’t you dry out a bit, you sad drunk old bastard?

  81. Blair’s family also have Irish passports.
    .
    http://sluggerotoole.com/2009/09/05/unanswered-and-unasked-questions/
    and
    {http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211450/The-young-OBlairs–Former-Prime-Ministers-children-Irish-passports-thanks-grandmother.html}

  82. Guest ref. John Whittingdale trying to boot Tom Watson off the Culture/M/S committee, Craig has already outed Whittingdale as some sort of News International stooge. Notice how that big story of the phone hacking has disappeared off the screen?
    .
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/07/whittingdale-wades-in/

  83. Aaron Anonymous

    8 Oct, 2011 - 5:03 am

    From the Mail story linked by Mary above:
    .
    “Mrs Blair also told British Airways’ in-flight magazine that a disappointment was never launching a warship.”

  84. If the Bliar sprogs qualify for Irish nationality via their paternal grandmother, their father is automatically an Irish citizen too, whether he and the Irish like it or not.

  85. Aaron Anonymous Yes I saw that. You could not make it up. Perhaps she has the same psychopathic traits as her husband who is responsible for enough killing for the pair of them. Did you read the other day that she is going into the health clinic business in UK supermarkets and shopping centres with a rich American woman? Money money money and never mind the ethics.

  86. “Notice how that big story of the phone hacking has disappeared off the screen?”
    .
    It keeps on coming back
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/met-loses-diary-that-may-have-proven-former-chiefs-links-to-rupert-murdoch-2366151.html
    .
    How careless of them!.

  87. Careless is a fine word for it Guest, diverting the cause of justice seems to have its own department in the Met, from CCTV footages to emails and reports, anything that jeopardises their positions or calls their criminal behaviour to account, alledgedly, is being disappeared.

    I hope that Rupert and his son will be booted off NI boards, not that a change of crew has ever changed a ships performance, perceptions of cannivances between media politicians and the 1% that is running us, seemingly into the ground, will not change much.
    We will face a global financial crisis and most likely end up paying for another war in the Middle east, until someone starts organising a tax boycott, the causual reasons will not change, they will morph somewhat but the establishment will use their power networks to re start the same loot again, we can see it now. Would they shoot at people asking for an English banking spring?
    The refusal to reign in British protectorate offshore tax havens, allowing the likes of the King of jersey, Tony Buckingham, to siphon off taxpayers money for more bang abroad, is down to this Consetrvative catnip cabinet.

    If EU Governments want the trust of consumers back, they better start tackling the likes of Goldmann Sachs, the rapacious end of global finance, who target any Government that does not agree with their kind of petrodollar business and is in debt.
    How come that we cannot force Switzerland to open their books, show how many of their Greek customers have only paid tax in Switzerland and those who have their public wages transfered directly out of the countries jurisdiction, the Greek establishment should be made to pay these 200 billion, they can afford it.
    Thats why the bailout stopped.

    I have heard over two corners that there are rumours that Germany is printing D-marks. If any of us could proof that there is anyhting behind this rumour such undertaking would really put the cat amongst the pidgeons, it would mean an end to the ECB as it exists, not to speak of the EU.

    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1658517/pg1

    yesterday I talked to a white van man delivering his paultry 27 packets. Usually, so he says, by this time he would be busy shifting xmas goods already, he’s self employed and has to spend 35,-/day on diesel, not enough to make a profit at all.At this time before xmas I would have over 100 deliveries/day, he said.

    So all those hoping for xmas to raise our economy to the lofty hight of 1.5% growth, think again. Many stores will seize trading this winter whilst Oxfam shops will heave with people.

    I’m genuinely sorry for mentioning the jule period here, it is my bleakest part of the year and I should have known better.

  88. “The refusal to reign in British protectorate offshore tax havens, allowing the likes of the King of jersey, Tony Buckingham, to siphon off taxpayers money for more bang abroad, is down to this Consetrvative catnip cabinet.”
    .
    Ingo, remind me, how long were New Labour in power, they didn`t want to “reign in” did they!!!. “How careless of them!.”

  89. This is a good quote for the followers:

    “The politically active classes today, led by the liberal-left, take their shopping trolleys and enter the supermarket of political causes. The only causes that attract their attention from the shelves are those in which western governments are complicit or perceived to be complicit.

    How else do you explain Palestine becoming a cause de celebre amongst young politically active students who couldn’t even point to Darfur or Kurdistan on a map? How else do you explain anti-globalisation protestors solely focusing on western targets whilst ignoring the excesses and state supported abuses of Chinese and Russian corporations?

    Familiarity breeds contempt and political activism today is not so much about values but about rebellion against the existing political order within which you live and are bitter and resentful towards.

    It is parochial, isolationist and solipsistic. In standing up for select international causes, political activists are in fact acting like the over-privileged spoilt child who despises his/her parents and loses all sense of perspective.

    The dark cloak of moral relativism and consumer feel-good activism has replaced the principle driven activism of yesteryear and left Iranian, Kurdish, Syrian, Darfurian and Zimbabwean activists feeling baffled and lonely.”

  90. DLJ, you should cite your sources. The one above comes from Ghaffar Hussain of Quilliam, “an expert on counter-extremism” in The Commentator. He cites Nick Cohen and a female “passionate and enthusiastic Iranian-American activist based in New York”:
    .
    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/513/in_answer_to_your_question_why_the_iranian_cause_isn_t_attracting_popular_support_
    .
    He accuses George Galloway and Yvonne Ridley of “support[ing] al-Qaeda in Iraq simply because it was anti-US”. However, speaking plainly and failing to join the propaganda chorus could describe their crimes more accurately.
    .
    There are other reasons that the “Liberal Left” may not wish to join with the Western war machine in baying for blood in Iran. We have seen the result of Western intervention in Iraq. We await a proper reckoning of the outcome in Libya, but it isn’t looking good. And the West’s most obvious intervention in Iran, Operation Ajax, was disastrous and has eventually led to the current situation.
    .
    We in the West supposedly live in democratic countries. It is absolutely proper that our efforts are concentrated upon influencing our own governments to reform their disgusting foreign policies.

  91. “their disgusting foreign policies.”
    .
    You got, we take.

  92. Thanks for your good research and links Clark.

  93. Thanks again for links Clark – will you post them on ‘Occupy Britain’ – I’m sure they would appreciate?

  94. DLJ, the site that published the article that you quoted from, The Commentator, is utterly disgusting. Here is an article justifying and trivialising torture, misrepresenting the Iraqi death toll, excusing the US and UK for the chaos they unleashed there, and claiming that Bush and Blair told no lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:
    .
    http://www.thecommentator.com/article/489/rumsfeld_bush_blair_aren_t_war_criminals_told_no_lies_about_wmd_iraq_the_left_needs_to_grow_up_
    .
    DLJ, do you visit that site often?

  95. I don’t know if I am allowed to say this here, but I am a few years older than Craig Murray and nearly as good looking.

    I know I made her feel really good which is good enough for me.

    You just look at her in her magnifence as she is dancing away to the band.

    You wave at her with your hand

    It is so loud and it is so packed, that is the only form of communication.

    Then at half time or full time, you talk to her.

    She knows it is just a game, and I am completely madly in love with my wife and she knows I would never betray her.

    But you just become a human being and you talk about the kinds of things you wanted to say when you were 15 years old, and madly in love, but simply couldn’t speak to her, and ask her out for a date, cos she might reject you and if she rejected you, there seemed no other course of action except suicide – and you just couldn’t do it.

    She said to me Tony, I have to go to a party now, but I will see you at the punky gig tomorrow afternoon.

    Far too fragile for me

    But she is simply georgeous

    My wife was doing exactly the same at the same time

    Its called Flirting

    Its a Flower Thing

    Tony

  96. Because she writes some brilliant stuff on her blog, I spent a couple of hours trying to find out who she really is. I still have no idea what she looks like, but I found Chapter 27

    It went something like this

    Yes, I sometimes completely fuck people over, but you don’t deserve it

    A Female Fleet Street Journalist about 33 years old.

    Hi Suzy

    Tony

  97. “Do we need a passport to get into Ireland?”
    .
    No, you don’t. Not from Britain.

  98. The internet is there. There are no secrets. Because people write what they think. Different people can’t hide their true identities if they have anything interesting to say. They might think they can, and because I took the unwritten oath, I will never reveal their real identities.

    Its just not what you do.

    Its like taking the hippocratic oath.

    Tony

  99. Her comments after Johann Hari had been taken out and beat up just served to kick the guy on the ground.

    She didn’t add anything.

    If you are going to do that girl, and you want your own column in a mainstream newspaper

    Then start writing about what is really going on.

    Not the artificial illusion you are living in.

    Get some balls and try and find out the truth, rather than the political/control agenda of the people who pay you to write what they allow you to write

    But I ain’t going to slag you off.

    Any girl who has the courage to do the kind of stuff that you do, has my utmost respect

    Especially your “Anonymous” Stuff

    Tony

  100. Tony, your thread on advfn is missing you. It was concentrated and cool.

  101. The Commentator -
    Who’s running The Commentator?
    The website was conceived by the journalist and author Robin Shepherd in 2010. Since then Raheem Kassam has worked with Robin to develop, maintain and edit for the site. Recently, we announced Harry Cole as our UK Political Editor and we hope to have a raft of Contributing Editors signing up over the next few months. Watch this space
    .
    Harry Cole is ‘News Editor Order Order.com, ie Guido Fawkes!
    ‘He is now the News Editor of Order-Order.com, the UK’s most read political website with a circulation of over three million readers a month.

    Harry is also the regular paper reviewer for the Sunday Times website, and writes for The Daily Beast and Total Politics and The Commentator.’
    .
    {http://www.harrycole.net/2009/11/freelance-hack-and-editor-of-political.html}

    ex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Shepherd
    ‘Robin Shepherd (born 6 January 1968) is a prominent British-born political commentator and analyst. He is currently Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society.[1] Formerly a senior fellow at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London, he has been associated with a number of leading think tanks in the United States and Europe.[2]

    The early focus of his work was post-Communist transition in Eastern Europe and Russia, such as in his first book, Czechoslovakia: The Velvet Revolution and Beyond (Palgrave Macmillan/St. Martins Press, 2000)[3] which dealt with the post-communist reform process. His research and commentary have since branched out into transatlantic relations, European politics and the relationship between the Western world and the State of Israel. He regularly appears in the international print and broadcast media. Before entering the think tank world, he was a foreign correspondent for The Times in Moscow.

    It has been suggested that he was forced out of Chatham House because of his pro-Israel views.[4] His book A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel was published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson in September 2009.

    Contents
    1 The Commentator
    2 Books
    3 References
    4 External links

    The Commentator
    Shepherd is currently the owner/publisher of the political news and commentary website, The Commentator.’
    .
    Enough said. Other members of the Henry Jackson Society,
    -
    Supporters and influence
    Its statement of principles has been publicly signed by
    .
    Members of Parliament Michael Ancram, Michael Gove,[5] Edward Vaizey, David Willetts, Denis MacShane, Fabian Hamilton, Gisela Stuart,
    former MPs David Trimble, Jackie Lawrence, Greg Pope,
    former soldiers Tim Collins and Jonny Gray,
    as well as Sir Richard Dearlove — former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, and presently Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge – and the American economist Irwin Stelzer. Its patrons include Richard Perle, William Kristol, James Woolsey (former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency), and Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj, former Prime Minister of Mongolia.
    .
    What a nest of vipers.

  102. Clark: We in the West supposedly live in democratic countries. It is absolutely proper that our efforts are concentrated upon influencing our own governments to reform their disgusting foreign policies.

    .
    It needn’t be either/or though. I would prefer some kind of very serious disinvestment from Saudi Arabia by the British government. And also a serious effort by the British government to stop Saudi/Wahabi/Salafist funding of UK mosques which have resulted in their radicalization. But unfortunately I get the feeling that if the British government did this and became enemies of the Saudi government a large bulk of the liberal/left would switch their allegiance to the Saudi government and ask why it is that the UK is so hostile.
    .
    A similar thing happened with Libya. When Gaddafi was an enemy of the West he was promoted by “Third Worldists” (and quite a few of that political persuasion appear on this site much to Craig Murray’s despair) as a leader of the Arab/Muslim/African/Socialist/whatever-other-ideology-he-was-pandering-to-that-day resistance to the US/UK capitalist/imperialist/Sithian. When Blair and others started canoodling with Gaddafi, the latter suddenly became evil with all the attributes that people such as Reagan had given him accepted by Third Worldists (Mad dog playboy vicious dictator). When NATO began its rather obvious military support of the rebels then suddenly Gadaffi was once again a saviour of Libya and that he even had a better system of government in Libya than the UK has because either a) the UK has no democracy – presumably unlike Libya or b) because democracy is bad and totalitarian in nature anyway – despite the contradiction and despite Gadaffi’s own totalitarianism. As proof, high literacy rates in Libya are produced.
    .
    This is a little similar to when leftists used to parade around pictures of Mao, dismissing concerns or outrage over his mass killings as the sentiments of “bourgeois morality”. This adulation of Mao only came to a juddering halt with Nixon and Kissinger’s embrace of Mao.
    .
    Which was the more disgusting? The US’s support of Taiwan and recognition of that government as the legitimate rulers of China and no trade with China or the US’s support of the Communist government’s rule of China and trading with China. Answer: whichever policy is not official US policy.
    .
    So, it goes with US and UK support of dictatorships in Central Asia and the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Uzbekistan etc… I think there should be no support for them. Most people on this blog rightfully criticize US and UK support for those regimes yet they also urge kinder and gentler policies towards other dictatorial or totalitarian regimes such as – in particular – Iran. Russia also gets looked on favourably despite being patently run in a highly undemocratic fashion. Cuba’s government exercises the apologists, also. And then there are groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah who openly make exterminationist aims part of their agenda and who are looked on with utter indulgence.
    .
    I would think that even if your policy was to try only to influence those who you think you have a chance of influencing it still wouldn’t hurt to refuse to support obviously undemocratic, totalitarian or racist alternatives.

  103. Mary
    The Electronic Intifada link revealed that May described Shaikh Raed Salah’s case as ‘ very finely balanced ‘. But in government speak that doesn’t mean that there was a questionmark over his integrity. It meant that given the enourmous justification for his cause, it would be a very finely balanced process to swing his case to Israeli lobby point of view.
    Most of the decisions of government are very finely balanced because most of them go directly against the interests of justice or UK citizens.

    As for equipment for spying, I think it is too simplistic to say that spying is good for one side and no good for another.
    The electronic intifada illustrates the usefulness of the tools of spying in conditions of war. But in the Muslim mind spying is now justified against innocent targets, on the justification that all Muslims are now permanently engaged in war, perpetrated by the West over the last millenium against Islam, even if they are sitting reading the newspaper on the Clapham omnibus.

    In conditions of war, all boundaries are broken, and this explains why all aspects of life are now in jeopardy. Human Rights of the Geneva Convention were cancelled by George Bush
    and the principles of finance have been shredded as well.
    Normal rules do not apply anywhere now in any aspect of life.
    What I am wary of is that our politicians are susceptible to the wiles of Muslim flattery, which they do not receive much of from their normal constituents, and there is a collusion of silence from the Muslims about UK foreign policy in order to gain political power. We do not need spying, lying, cheating, from any quarter, least of all when it appears that the political minds of UK politicians and Muslim leaders start to converge.
    We do not need an Israel lobby running our parliament and we definitely do not need a Muslim lobby either.
    Such lobbying from any self-selected interest group undermines the freedom of individual choice. Islam should advertise itself by its own good qualities, not become part of the dirty political system we already have, in my humble opinion.

  104. Best news of the day.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/09/virus-infects-drone-plane-command
    Computer virus infects drone plane command centre in US
    ‘Keylogger’ virus disrupts computers at Creech air force base in Nevada where planes are piloted remotely in Afghanistan
    ~~~~

  105. Anno – I agree with what you are saying. On ‘We do not need an Israel lobby running our parliament…’ I am afraid to say that we have one already which is deeply embedded in all three main parties.
    .
    For instance, I have just looked at Simon Burns MP Chelmsford, who is also one of the Health Ministers trying to push through the changes which will wreck the NHS.
    .
    Apart from paid-for visits to Dubai UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, India, China, and separately Hong Kong, there was one to America paid for by Aventis a pharmaceuticals manaufacturer and one to Israel paid for by the Conservative Friends of Israel.
    .
    The latter appears in the Register of Interests of many MPs. El Al must do well out of it.
    .
    All Burns’ freebies and perks are listed here.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10079

  106. Kenneth Clarke is not really such a jolly fellow after all. This lies behind the image of fairness. He was complicit in the change in the law on Universal Jurisdiction especially as it applies to the Israeli war criminals like Livni.

    .
    [...]In February 2010, Ken Clarke and Edward Garnier met with Livni in Israel and pledged to change the law once in government; they are now the Secretary of State for Justice and Solicitor-General respectively. [....]
    .
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/10/special-mission-livni-visit

    A very special mission
    .
    The article includes many links, one of which is a Jewish Chronicle article on Clarke and Garnier visiting Livni in early 2010. There is a photo of the three of them.
    ‘Shadow business secretary Ken Clarke and shadow attorney general Edward Garnier met her in Israel as part of a party charm offensive.

    Mr Garnier said: “The Tories will change the law if this government doesn’t, although we remain happy to co-operate if there is still an appetite for reform. There is support this from David Cameron and William Hague downwards. Our courts will not be used as the venue for street protest.” ‘

  107. Angrysoba, excellent comment. I, too, would like to see disinvestment from Saudi Arabia. The episode when Blair halted the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into the BAE/Saudi arms-deal corruption was disgusting. The subsequent words of the Saudi king to the UK queen read, to me, like a mobster renewing the contract of his protection racket. However, I doubt that such disinvestment would lead to protest from the “Left”. There is a big difference between disinvestment and actually starting a war.
    .
    Regarding radicalisation due to Saudi/Wahabi/Salafist funding of UK mosques, some might argue that this is permitted or even encouraged as a covert policy that maintains the “War on Terror” and provides an excuse for domestic repression and surveillance; indeed, I think that Anno has argued something along this line. My own view is that a very few evil people would pursue such a policy consciously, but that it emerges mostly structurally, as a result of personal, political and corporate greed and pursuit of power, and possibly as the “fall out” of rivalry between factions in various organisations.
    .
    I have thoughts about your other points, but I’m having trouble phrasing them and I’m running out of time, so I’ll just post this for now.

  108. Mary, you wrote “best news of the day”; I’m not so sure. While I’m glad that operations have been interfered with, it implies that these cretins are using Windows to control these airborne Daleks, with all the potential for “plausible deniability” that this permits.

  109. Probably right Clark but thought that they would not be killing at least for today.

  110. Unfortunately the keylogging software has not stopped them from dropping any bombs. But I have found some of the leaked keylog files, its just:
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A start over and over. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konami_Code

    Clarke, but it sure brings new meaning to the Windows BSOD =P en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSOD

    Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  111. More nonsense on this story involving Huhne.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15233811
    .
    Chris Huhne apologises to May over cat speech tip-off
    The message was deleted shortly after being posted
    Huhne’s fingerprints on mis-tweet

    .
    Chris Huhne has apologised to Theresa May for pointing out similarities between her speech, and one by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, to a journalist.
    .
    The energy secretary told the Guardian journalist that a website had noted Mr Farage had made similar claims about her controversial cat deportation case.
    .
    He said the reporter asked if he would be quoted about it but he declined.
    .
    That was behind his mistakenly published “tweet” last week, intended as a private response to the reporter.
    /….

  112. @Mary “Computer virus infects drone plane command centre in US”
    .
    The fact they let that kind of information out in the public is suspicious for several reasons. If the information was true, which I doubt, it should at least have been labeled “Embarrassing Secret”. On the other hand, from a black-op perspective, it saves a lot of logistics since you could just use a drone to do the dirty work and blame a virus made by .

  113. ……to do the dirty work and blame a virus made by “(insert enemy of choice)”

  114. Clarke
    Since you so kindly have used my name in vain, I suppose that gives me an excuse to explain what I have been saying about Islamic Reform.
    Mr Nasty Angrysoba obviously detests Islam and its reform, which might threaten the Christian-Zionist-existing system we live in.
    There occurred an extraordinary phenomenon in this country after the period of the Enlightenment, after UK academics became exposed to Arabic language and culture and realised that the Qur’an was actually saying the same thing as the Jewish and Christian scriptures, that they felt moved to translate the Bible into English.
    They were constrained by dire laws of heresy from challenging the Christian doctrine of Trinity, even though they were now able, by studying the Qur’an, to see that the doctrine was pure and unadulterated bollocks. They were constrained by politics from even thinking about importing a foreign religion from Arabic texts. But they realised that Bible, which was hitherto not known by ordinary people because of Roman Catholic prohibition, still contained enough of its original spiritual dynamite, to make it worth translating for ordinary peoplke to understand.
    Reading the Bible in English satisfied an enourmous thirst for personal and social reform from a world which put all men very unequal indeed as per divine command, to a world free from hundreds of layers of mental and physical slavery. We are the lucky heirs to that social, moral and spiritual reform.
    The Saudi rulership has to its vast credit over many decades, performed a similar purification and education process by explaining the texts of the Qur’an, both to Arabic speakers who have vested interests in concealing the clear commandments of the Qur’an, and who like doing things the way they have always been done i.e. corruptly and also to a huge audience of those who were deprived of being able to read the Qur’an by the vested interests of a controlling and manipulative imam-hood for want of a better word.
    These reformers have also been constrained by huge religious and political considerations. Not least by those who have hijacked the process of genuine reform and return to obedience to and implementation of the holy scriptures into the politics of jihad. The obedience to the scriptures has to come before jihad. You can’t bolt jihad onto corrupt political leadership or popular ignorance of the religion. The enemies of Islam have tried to stop the benefits of reform by diverting Muslims who themselves are uneducated, through leadership that still wants a top=down command system which gives them overwhelming power, into the Warrant of Error, or the War on Terror.
    Angrysoba can fuck off with his racism and religious prejudices.
    The fact is, that in spite of UK and US power in the Muslim world, of equally dire repercussions to the constraints of those UK academics in the 13, 14 and 1500′s here in the UK, reform is slowly happening. And when you get ground=roots reform, based on God’s Holy scriptures, dynamite will happen – a nuclear explosion, that will wipe this Zio-Christian moral, and spiritual bankruptcy we live in now – off the screen.

  115. p.s.
    Just as the reading of the Bible in the vernacular was followed by evil Puritanism and even more evil African Slave Trade, which were deliberately introduced and implemented to frustrate social and moral change in this country, so also you will see many attempts to frustrate Islamic reform. The principle one being the politicising of Islam to the extent that an Al-Qaida (so=called)subject of UK renditon, is being used today to terrorise Libyan civilians in Sirte using UN 1973 coalition and allies’ ammunition.
    There has been constant demonising of the madrassahs of Pakistan, precisely because they represent the kernel of truth which the Zio=Christian powers want to suppress. Having visited them and daily sharing my worship with the product of them, I can inform you that this demonisation is 1,000,000 per cent false. When Gordon Brown and others describe these people and these places as fermenting extremism or fundamentalism, really they were standing in front of the mirror when they said these words. Look at what they have done in Iraq and Libya and ask your heart who are the terrorists and extremists in this world.
    God knows what possessed the Islamic groups in Libya to befriend and do their dirty work for them.

  116. I’m a bit confused by Anno’s comments. I agree with part of it which is that there is possibly a parallel between the Protestant Reformation and the rise of Wahabism. Certainly both groups sought to return to a purer form of the religion. In the case of Protestant reformers like Wycliffe and Tyndale they probably considered themselves even more truly Catholic than the corrupt Popes (same went for Luther) just as Wahab considered himself a true Muslim when compared to the debauched khalifas of the Ottoman Empire. But why does he then go onto say that the Puritans were bad given that they were just a logical end result? In fact, I think the Taliban could have learnt a lot from Oliver Cromwell. Maybe it’s because he cancelled Christmas.
    .
    Also I wouldn’t consider Wycliffe, Tyndale or even King James to be after the Enlightenment. Maybe they were at a kind of proto-Enlightenment stage though. I’d not heard that the Bible was translated into local languages as a result of having read the Koran in Arabic. Could you provide a bit more information about that as it sounds interesting. I would have thought that there were more opportunities to have read Orthodox Bibles from Greece or Armenia before then, not to mention the original Ancient Greek manuscripts.
    .
    Angrysoba can fuck off with his racism and religious prejudices.

    .
    I will plead guilty to not being a fan of religion except as an interesting area of anthropology but could you please take back the accusation of racism. I have said nothing racist at all.

  117. Clark and Mary – don’t blame the messenger. I am merely trying to explore the idea that perpetual adolescence is the professional hazard of the Craig Murray commentator. Arguments like …

    ‘See that Zionist over there … that’s you that is.’

  118. I wasn’t aware that I had communicated directly with DLJ (he of the raw nerve) whom I now assume is a fully paid up member of the Henry Jackson Society, and possibly of the Hasbara fraternity.

  119. Anno, Angrysoba is another of God’s creatures, and deserves as much respect as any other. We do not understand the ways of creation. We might dislike aspects of it, but such feelings can reveal the shortcomings of our own thought processes when we see how that which we dislike forms a tile in the mosaic of the Great Scheme.
    .
    However, there is a responsibility on humans, as thinking, communicating creatures, to maintain essential honesty, ie, not to deliberately attempt to look like one tile when in fact being another, and thus deliberately subverting the pattern to the ends of oneself or ones group.
    .
    Sometimes we make mistakes in our identification of the tiles.
    .
    For my part I believe Angrysoba to be honest. He honestly dislikes all “religion”, but by “religion” he means two things. One is the set of organisations called “religions”. I think we all have our complaints about one or many of these human structures, that have allied themselves with or permitted themselves to be manipulated by political power over the centuries, often with disastrous results.
    .
    The other thing he opposes is less easily defined. Angrysoba (correct me if I’m wrong) would probably call it “superstition”; the belief in anything “supernatural”, and that would include “God”, by which he really means human interpretations or descriptions of God.
    .
    I have considerable respect for this aspect of Angrysoba’s outlook. To you, Anno, I would describe it as rejection of idolatry, the idols in question being humans’ fixed ideas about God, which God, of course, always transcends. Thus he rejects all the ancient books as the work of men, and says that only the universe itself is worthy of study. Human ideas shall be acceptable only insomuch as they accurately represent the universe. This is the discipline of science. But if we recognise the universe and creation as one and the same, then science can be seen as a devotion that demands humility. It is also a very lonely path, offering no comfort of divine protection or approval. “Godless, for God’s sake”.
    .
    Of course, I could be wrong, and Angrysoba may be a fake tile. Equally, I could be making a similar mistake about you, Anno. In the end I just assume good faith, do my best, and hope and pray that I’m not wrong about me.
    .
    Angrysoba, I have been using language that assumes the existence of a creator. Please do not tear it to shreds with physicalist language. I regard language merely as a means unto an end, a description that will always fall short of that which it attempts to describe. I see potential for hours of crossed-purpose argument if you object to how I communicate with Anno.
    .
    Enough metaphysical waffle. Anno, I hope you will continue the discussion with Angrysoba about the Enlightenment, reform, and the release of translations the ancient texts. This is a matter about which I know very little, and with all the religious doomsday nuttery that seems so dangerously fashionable in our nuclear-weapon blighted times, it looks like an important subject.

  120. Clark: Anno, Angrysoba is another of God’s creatures, and deserves as much respect as any other.
    .
    Clark, I appreciate what you’re trying to do but let’s remember that I am not the one showing disrespect here:
    .
    Mr Nasty Angrysoba obviously detests Islam and its reform, which might threaten the Christian-Zionist-existing system we live in.

    .
    Angrysoba can fuck off with his racism and religious prejudices.


    .
    It doesn’t really bother me as I don’t expect to get on with Anno; he’s made it quite clear on numerous occasions that he has little tolerance for those who disagree with him.
    .
    I wonder if you could help me out, Clark, and point out the racial prejudices Anno accuses me of.

  121. Whoops! Sorry, Clark. I realize you addressed that first bit to Anno. I request my previous comment be stricken from the record, so to speak.

  122. Thanks for that link and quote from the New Statesman Mary. Didn’t know about that, but doesn’t surprise me a lot – i knew Clarke was no mild liberal – he’s just not extreme enough for most Conservatives these days. In the 80s he was seen as around the center of the party (which was hardly that moderate under Thatcher) – today most Conservative party members seem to see him as too liberal to be in the party at all.

  123. Angrysoba, sorry, I only just noticed this part of your comment: “I wonder if you could help me out, Clark, and point out the racial prejudices Anno accuses me of.”
    .
    I don’t remember any racist remarks from you, Angrysoba.

  124. I agree with Richard – Clarke may choose to speak his mind now, but in Thatcher’s and Major’s cabinets he was a bully and a yes-man. Perhaps this was more due to ambition than conviction, but that doesn’t make it any better. I see a man with a centrist mind, but a Tory heart.

  125. Yes, I’d like to reiterate that angrysoba is NOT racist. There has been absolutely nothing angrysoba has written on this, or his own, site which could lead anyone to conclude anything other than that he is not racist. Quite the opposite – he has taken issue with a number of commentators who have expressed racist ideation.
    .
    The other major difference b/w the Protestants/Puritans and the modern-day (actually postmodern phenomenon of) the Islamists is that the former were voracious promoters of direct learning, into both secular and religious books; that was one of their main differences with the Roman Catholic Church, in fact. The Islamists and the Sufis, on the other hand, tend to espouse primarily obscurantism and denial.
    .

    I once got ticked-off by a reader when, in an article, I compared the apocalyptic literature in some Islamic bookshops with the sermons of John Knox. I was not comparing John Knox with today’s Islamic Fundamentalists, merely the shared obsession with theological apocalypse, but the reader took umbrage anyway (as people do). Nonetheless, the reader had a point. John Knox was a religious fanatic, yet he also established crucial social and educational reforms which helped to lay the basis for the Scottish Enlightenment. Sadly, I cannot see any parallel with any so-called fundamentalist figures in contemporary Islam.

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