Daily archives: April 26, 2009

Those Killed By US Torture: Alyssa Peterson

Not everybody went along with the US torture programme. Read the tale of Alyssa Peterson.

Did she kill herself in horror at what she had witnessed her own country do, or was she murdered in case she made her experience public?


Thanks to George.

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New Labour Corruption and Quilliam

My own view is that those who have adopted religous fanaticism – for whatever religion – display an absence of good judgement.

Ed Husain is by his own account a former religous extremist. He is one of the leaders among those who realised that, having tried to make a mark in the world through religious fanaticism, they can make more money and career progress by turning traitor on their former beliefs and colleagues, and jumping on the anti-Islamist gravy train.

Both the original fanaticism and the high profile and lucrative betrayal are evidence of a sociopathic character.

Husain is now a wealthy man. The government set him up in the Quilliam foundation and has thrown more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money at it. He is in great and lucrative demand on the mainstream media.

The Quilliam Foundation is the branch of New Labour tasked with securing the Muslim vote and reducing British Muslim dissatisfaction with New Labour over the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. If they wanted to do that whith New Labour money, that would be their own business. But I object fundamentally to their doing it with my and your money.

The party political nature of the Quilliam Foundation is shown in their astonishing and completely unbalanced attack on Osama Saeed, a prominent SNP candidate and a friend of mine. They try to portray him as an Islamic extremist.

If Osama is an Islamic extremist, then I am a Blairite.

For New Labour to have even the faintest hope of a respectable performance at the general election, they must protect their Scottish base against the SNP. This pathetic attempt to smear the SNP as connected to Islamic extremism is a blatant abuse of taxpayers’ money.

It is also desperate. Here is one of the “extremist” comments of Osama which they highlight:

“The aim of Islamic law, contrary to popular belief, is not punishment by death or amputation of body parts. It is to create a peaceful and just society, with Islamic scholars over centuries citing its core aims: the freedom to practise religion; protection of life; safeguarding intellect; maintaining lineage and individual rights. This could be the basis for an Islamic Bill of Rights.”


They also criticisng Osama for saying the “Danish cartoons” should be banned. I disagree with Osama on that one, but I also disagree with Nadira and every other Muslim I know on that one. Freedom of speech, sadly in my view, is not absolute in this country – witness the government’s banning of Geerst Wilders. Osama’s view on this is not extreme, it is mainstream.

The real scandal here is not Osama Saeed, who is a good man dedicated to freedom and to bringing Scotland’s Muslim community into its mainstream politics. The real story is the blatant misuse of taxpayer funds by New Labour.

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Sunday Morning Thoughts

It’s a beautiful morning, and I thought I might have a gentle mental ramble around the news.

It is very strange to find myself in agreement with the horrible Stephen Byers on anything, but he is reported as saying that the government may have to scrap ID cards and Trident II nuclear missiles as it slashes spending. It took a collapse of the worldwide Ponzi economy to drum at least some sense into New Labour. Byers is very close to Blair, but Blair would close down the NHS before closing down ID cards and nuclear missiles. So what is happening there?

It is almost tempting to propose that we should all vote New Labour to get the bastards back in again and make them clean up their own mess.

If Darling’s budget tells us anything, it is that Darling and Brown know that they are going to lose the election and are desperately trying to borrow enough to get them through and leave the hard decisions for the next lot. I see an argument for putting New Labour back in to take the pain and get so unpopular that even their under-educated Sun-reading Jane Goody-mourning core support will desert them, and the party will be wiped out forever.

Ok, let’s not do that. Not worth the risk they’d survive it.

There are going to need to be cutbacks in public spending. Trident should only be the start in the defence budget. The Typhoon Eurofighter is so highly specified that we only need that level of sophistication for a war against another major European power or the United States. What is the point of that? And what are we going to do with those aircraft carriers? Do we really still want to be able to fight major wars thousands of miles from home? The truth is, we cannot afford to.

As an Ambassador I was always amused to see on the recruitment ads that I earnt less than the average manager of a local government leisure centre. Those who remember the comedy show “The Brittas Empire” may be amazed to realise that Mr Brittas would likely be on £90,000 a year plus car, relocation expenses etc.

Almost the only aspect of local government which is media interesting enough to come under harsh scrutiny is child protection services. The awful faults there – top-heavy management, bureaucracy stifling efficient function, lots of people with no identifiable purpose, too few people at the sharp end, of too low standard and not allowed to use initiative – are actually repeated in every local government function.

I would start by making redundant everybody in local government who has either of the words “Director” or “Officer” in their title. That would save hundreds of billions of public money, while in three weeks everything would be working perfectly well again. I would then reorganise local government so that it received no money at all from central government, and had power to raise its own revenue from local income tax.

I am pleased at the overwhelming public support for the imposition of the higher rate of income tax. There is plainly a belief in social justice among the population which politicians, whose parties are funded by the rich and who are chasing company directorships before or after retirement, have been ignoring. The Sunday Times rich list is published today. This is a good time to confiscate unearned wealth. Let’s start by taking away the completely unearned £6.5 billion from the Duke of Westminster.

I am worried about the revelation by the Independent that David Cameron went on a freebie to South Africa paid for by a pro-apartheid regime lobby group. I know people can change, but only the most hardline of Thatcherites would ever have considered doing that in the 1980s, and anyone who could not clearly perceive the evil of apartheid has a deficient moral sense.


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